Data ownership needs to be regulated globally and regulation needs to be enforced. Society has regulated land ownership for thousands of years and we know exactly what it means. Most of us also understand property of machinery and intellectual property.
Although many companies and professionals are truly serious about protecting customer data, society as a whole does not know what data ownership really means. It is just too new and complex.
Humanity needs to find out soon. Otherwise we might wake up in a future where data is the main productive asset and humans can be manipulated or even hacked through biotechnology. A future where algorithms know us better than we do and make use of our data to determine what we should buy, who we should vote for, what job we should take, who we should marry with and ultimately what we should think.
We might wake up in a future without freedom.
Avoiding this dystopic future tomorrow requires enforcing data ownership at a global scale today. It is not a problem nations can solve separately.
Algorithms are good but with limits. The European GDPR regulation is a reason for hope.