The ICONLOOP Lounge provides more than just a comfortable space for the team to rest, relax and recharge in.

It’s also the epicenter of the company’s outreach efforts.

The venue plays host to regular public discussions on the role of blockchain in South Korea’s digital future. These meetups are very accessible for anyone who lives in Seoul, but for the rest of the Iconists out there who might be curious about what the lounge is like, we shot a short video for you:

ICONLOOP convened one such discussion last Thursday, when it teamed up with Yo-si-jae — a Future Consensus Institute and think tank — to explore how recently passed legislation could usher in an age of digital sovereignty.

Entitled “The Three Data-Related Laws: Could They Make Our Lives Smart?,” the event featured presentations, a panel discussion and a question-and-answer session with the audience.

Participants considered the legal issues and tensions that could result from data protection efforts on the blockchain.

But more importantly, they explored how the public sector could further help progress development in data sovereignty, such as those being pioneered by MYID.

In the panel discussion, ICONLOOP CEO Jonghyup Kim said the recent legal changes marked only the start of a broader discussion on data ownership.

He also cautioned against the government playing the role of judge, explaining that when innovative businesses emerge, the state and industry should trust one another as partners.

He called on the government to lift negative regulations and stop telling businesses what they can and cannot do.

Other panelists also offered their advice.

SNP Lab CEO Jae-Young Lee said the government should listen to experts when they create guidelines, bringing in lawyers who understand technology and engineers who understand the law.

Myoung-Ho Lee, the head of Yo-si-jae’s digital platform team, said the government should minimize its role and allow consortiums and other negotiating bodies to create rules that fit the market and level of technology development.

Last month, South Korea’s parliament passed amendments to three data-related laws: the Personal Information Protection Act, the Act on the Promotion of the Use of the Information Network and Information Protection, and the Credit Information Use and Protection Act.

While privacy activists have raised concerns, the government views the revisions as crucial to transforming South Korea into a “data economy” and a global powerhouse in data use.

In particular, financial authorities, fintech companies and other financial institutions believe the legal revisions enable the development of so-called “MyData” projects by granting individuals ownership over their data.

This lets individuals give permission to banks, credit card companies and other entities to pool their credit information.

Using pooled data previously scattered across many consumer databases, financial institutions can now crunch big data and offer individually tailored products and services, while maintaining strong personal data privacy.

Decentralized ID solutions — such as ICONLOOP”s “MyID” — help consumers navigate and take full advantage of the MyData ecosystem by enabling easier control, storage and management of their personal data.

ICONLOOP believes that as government interest in self-sovereign identity grows, MyID has a huge opportunity to deliver personal data sovereignty to consumers and create an ecosystem where they can monetise the use of that data.