Some recent interest in exploring ideas about data ownership prompts me to revisit the topic of data ownership and collaboration, which we discussed in the March 2003 issue of DM Review. Recent client work associated with establishing data standards has exposed aspects of data ownership that transcend our earlier discussion, mostly inspired by the question of ownership of data (and meta data) that is exchanged.

The first question is introduced as a byproduct of a Web services application. In the client environment, a number of participants in a data exchange network coordinate their exchanges through a centralized Web service. For example, consider a product market in which suppliers register their products and prices with a centralized service, and customers visit the service searching for and potentially purchasing products. In this case, a standard for exchanging information is established by which requests for information are propagated to the suppliers and by which their responses are forwarded to the service. The service is essentially participating as a value-added pass-through for data.

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