Digital Jersey launches a world first data trust

Posted: 20/02/2023

Digital Jersey has established the first ‘data trust’ under Jersey Trust Law, through a pilot project that forms part of the organisation’s strategy to position Jersey as a leading jurisdiction for data stewardship.

What is data stewardship? Find out here.

The concept involves the innovative use of a trust structure to hold personal data so that it can be stored, managed and shared safely, lawfully, in accordance with the trust parameters and applying fiduciary duties to the stewardship of data within a highly regulated environment.

To test the data trust concept, data will be collected by cyclists in Jersey through special bike light sensors and held in the trust. Whilst the primary focus of the pilot is to test the viability of using a trust structure to explore the data stewardship concept, a secondary aim is to generate useful data and intelligence around safe cycling. Digital Jersey will now look to recruit cyclists to join the project.

The pilot has been co-sponsored by the Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner (JOIC) and undertaken in conjunction with Jersey’s finance industry, with law firms Appleby and JTC Law advising as to the establishment of the trust and local fiduciary businesses ICECAP and JTC providing administration to the data trust. IT and technical support has been provided by Calligo, Defence Logic and PropelFwd.

Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton and Digital Jersey Non-Executive Director, Dame Wendy Hall, said: “This is a ground-breaking project that brings together two of Jersey’s great strengths – digital innovation and its experience in trust administration. Data as a commodity is becoming more and more valuable, and organisations and governments are increasingly needing to find independent, robust ways to manage, store, protect and share their data effectively.

This pilot will look at how holding data as an asset in a trust works in practice and explore how Jersey could play a leading role in responsible data stewardship.”

Paul Vane, Jersey’s Information Commissioner, added: “As the AI and data revolution unfolds, there’s no doubt that global demand for third party data stewardship services will grow. The security of complex, personal (often sensitive) data, however, is critical. In theory, Jersey’s tried-and-tested trust law may be a good fit for holding data in this context, and this pilot will be instrumental in testing how such an innovative approach to data stewardship could work in a real-world environment, whilst respecting the protections afforded to individuals under data protection legislation.”

Jared Dann, Partner at Appleby in Jersey, commented: “Few, if any, jurisdictions have the same amount of experience in the trust sector, the necessary legislative and regulatory framework, or the required governance platform in place to provide a solution like this. This pilot scheme provides a fantastic opportunity for Jersey to demonstrate how it can draw on its long-standing trust expertise and apply it in a new, innovative context.”

Find out more about the pilot project at 


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