Zero-copy integration and new data governance standard to be developed

Zero-copy integration and new data governance standard to be developed

Zero-copy integration and new data governance standard to be developed

The CIO Strategy Council has initiated the development of a national data governance standard called “Zero-Copy Integration” which seeks to offer organizations a way to build new digital services without needing to replicate data, including sensitive information.

The council, which is an accredited standards development organization in Canada, seeks to offer digital service providers, such as startups, non-profits, enterprise companies and public sector agencies, a way to address the increasingly stringent data protection and data governance standards in the country and in jurisdictions such as Europe or California, U.S., which implement even more advanced protection regulations.

The proposed zero-copy integration standard will introduce owner-defined access controls that go over the safeguards stated in the General Data Protection Regulation of Europe, the California Consumer Privacy Act and Canada’s Bill C-11, or the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2020 and will vest ownership and control of information to data owners.

The Data Collaboration Alliance, a Toronto-based registered non-profit centering on data ownership and inclusive innovation, announced that its president, Dan DeMers, joined the CIO Strategy Council’s technical committee tasked with developing the zero-copy integration standard.

“The recent headlines created by WhatsApp and Apple serve as a timely reminder that real control is what data owners want, not meaningless consent,” said Dan DeMers, president of the Data Collaboration Alliance.

The expected benefits of the new data governance standard include removing the costly overhead of traditional integration and saving time and resources on digital transformation projects, which may improve efficiency when building new digital services and may lead to a more controlled and auditable environment. The proposed standard may also potentially assist early adopters in gaining a competitive edge in international markets, Data Collaboration Alliance’s news release said.

The new standard’s guidelines consist of elements of the data collaboration methodology, as well as network-based data management technology, which utilizes data linking for the building of new applications, systems, analytics and automations.

The application-centric approach to technology design is the root cause for the growing obstacle to data governance encountered by technology leaders today, said Data Collaboration in its release. For more than four decades, new digital services had separate and dedicated databases, which led to the fragmentation of operational data.

The traditional approach of data integration, which responds to this issue of data fragmentation, led to the generation of unrestricted copies of data, including sensitive data, among data storage environments such as application databases, the news release said. Organizations spend considerable time and costs to build new data-centric projects, which negatively affects their ability to retain control over data access and usage.

Keith Jansa, executive director of the CIO Strategy Council, said that the data gathered and consumed by using essential digital services to accomplish daily tasks such as buying groceries, engaging in banking matters and availing of virtual healthcare “requires appropriate governance to maintain public trust in their effective use.”

“I fully support developing Zero-Copy Integration into a national standard so Canada can remain globally competitive and continue to lead and innovate,” Neal Oswald, chief operating officer and senior vice president at Concentra Bank, was also quoted as saying in the news release.

The development of the new standard is relevant to both the current legal frameworks for data protection, such as Bill C-11, and the proposed rights-based framework for data ownership, said Chris McLellan, director of operations at the Data Collaboration Alliance. Paul Banwatt and John Durland, lawyers at Gilbert's LLP and volunteer board advisors of the Data Collaboration Alliance, recently engaged in a discussion about third-party data sharing and Bill C-11, a video of which may be accessed here.

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