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Friday, April 1 • 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Trusts for Digital Governance

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This roundtable will discuss a relatively embryonic hypothesis: that technology companies can use the legal structure of a trust in order to ensure that their promises--such as Ello's to not sell user data--remain permanent, even in the face of acquisition, liquidation, or changing management.

In addition to the benefit corporation-­style version of this, where companies voluntarily cede the power to sell or access data in a particular way, there are additional interesting applications of the basic model of trusts in digital governance. Another, more complex application is using trusts in civic technology projects, which often manifest in sort of a contractual pseudo­entity somewhere between government and a private technology provider. Trusts could be foundational for active, participatory governance in civic technology.

Trusts could also be used as a vehicle for international forum selection: Microsoft recently took advantage of a feature of German trusts law to hand over decryption keys to a third party, preventing Microsoft from accessing user data, even at government request.

This session will be a collaborative effort to map potential trust-based governance models, from the construction of trustees to how end users can be empowered to assert digital rights within a trust system. The ideal outcome of this session will be a first draft of trust model, and (hopefully) identifying organizations willing to implement the model.

avatar for Keith Porcaro

Keith Porcaro

CTO / General Counsel, SIMLab
Keith leads SIMLab’s partnerships and technology initiatives, where he helps service providers, governments, and other organizations around the world use technology to make services more accessible, responsive, and resilient. Keith's background sits at the intersection of law and technology; prior to joining SIMLab, he advised technology startups on legal and operational issues, worked as legal counsel and content strategist for a service... Read More →

Friday April 1, 2016 5:15pm - 6:15pm
The Slate

Attendees (10)