2019 Data Symposium: The Role of Consumers in the Data Ecosystem


Monday, November 4, 2019 – Tuesday, November 5, 2019



Data Symposium

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Fintech team in partnership with FinRegLab, hosted “The Role of Consumers in the Data Ecosystem” symposium, on November 4th-5th in Los Angeles. The symposium convened 130 leading researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to engage in key discussions on the role of consumers in the ever-changing data ecosystem.

In February 2020 the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and FinRegLab will release a report analyzing relevant research and discussions from the conference. For more information about this event or our research in this space, please reach out to a member of our team.

About the Event:

As new financial technologies emerge, consumers have an ever-increasing array of options for using and sharing financial data. The continued growth of data-related innovations is poised to further accelerate the rate of data generation and sharing, as well as associated concerns about data use and handling.

Policymakers, regulators, and other stakeholders have been working to set standards and expand the collective understanding of legal and technical issues related to consumer financial data. But more remains to be done, including understanding the appropriate role of consumers in this evolving ecosystem. A handful of key questions continue to commonly surface in debates, including: Who owns data? Who has the right to access one’s data? Who may exercise control over consumer data?

At the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, we have a strong interest in monitoring and understanding how these innovations are impacting the health and wellbeing of consumers and households.

Agenda highlights:

  • “The Interplay of Protection and Individual Choice” – How to balance the necessity of consumer protection with consumer’s freedom of choice and individual preferences with regard to data?
  • “’Ownership’” in the Digital Realm: Is it possible?” – Can legal constructs of ‘ownership’ apply to data? How do we define which data a consumer should have some amount of power over?
  • “Diversity of Consumer Preference” – Is it possible to address differing consumer preferences around what their roles around data could, or should, be? Could an active data management role disadvantage certain consumer populations, and if so, what is the potential for trusted intermediaries to mitigate this?

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco:

Financial technology (fintech) continues to change the dynamics of banking and how financial products and services are delivered to consumers. At the SF Fed, we’re analyzing fintech innovations and their impacts on financial institution supervision, community development, financial stability, payments, and other areas. Our goal is simple: to help facilitate responsible innovations while protecting consumers and ensuring the safety and soundness of banks. SF Fed Navigate fintech analysts are available to help answer questions from fintech companies and banks to build an understanding of the financial regulatory environment so innovative ideas thrive. To learn more about our program here.


FinRegLab is a nonprofit organization working to create a more inclusive and responsible global financial system through conducting research and experiments, and facilitating policy dialogue. Learn more about our program here.