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29 April 2020 / MyData takes an important step towards open personal data ecosystems

MyData Global
29 April 2020
Helsinki, Finland

Press release: MyData takes an important step towards open personal data ecosystems

Today, MyData Global nonprofit, published its paper Understanding MyData Operators as a foundation for a roadmap towards a human-centric personal data infrastructure. In a collaborative effort of 34 experts and supported by 48 personal data operators from 15 countries, a joint starting point for interoperability was established. Following up on the MyData vision published in 2015, MyData operators enable sharing of personal data across services where the use of data is transparent and controlled by individuals. As providers of infrastructure for personal data management, they are the key party in creating sustainable ecosystems for fair and ethical use of personal data. 

The need for a human-centric data economy is evident: fighting and understanding the impact of COVID19 in a privacy-preserving way, and creating better public and private services are just some of the examples. The paper creates a common language, leading to a better understanding of the field and the roles different actors can take. From there, it defines minimum interoperability requirements and emphasises the need for governance. 

“We are really proud that MyData Global has facilitated this landmark paper”, says Teemu Ropponen, general manager of MyData Global. Operator organisations worldwide have joined on a common journey towards interoperable infrastructure for using personal data across digital services. These operators commit to working in a way that not only puts the rights of the individual in the centre, but also sets them on a collective path to build ecosystems that work for people. The MyData operator philosophy is very much aligned with the recently published EU data strategy, which emphasises the rights of individuals in these developing infrastructures.

Joss Langford, lead editor of the paper adds: “We have gone through a robust and creative process of more than 12 months to bring together experts, critics and service providers. The combination of workshops in different places in the world, followed by intense online collaboration in the last few months, allowed us all to contribute to an insightful paper and have it supported by personal data operators worldwide. The paper provides, for the first time, a comprehensive and united approach to promote transparency and innovation in the design of personal data services. This truly is a milestone for human-centric data sharing, use and management.”

From here on, the MyData Operators Thematic Group will take the next steps to keep the operators and network connected. MyData Global will continue to host and mobilise this gathering of organisations and thought leadership working towards interoperability, both in technology, governance as well as human-centric business models. As the personal data ecosystems and infrastructure building matures, the group will build further common governance practices and interoperability guidelines.

To download the paper now and see updates in the future from this community visit: mydata.org/operators/

For more information contact:

Teemu Ropponen
General manager, MyData Global
teemu.ropponen(at)mydata.org
@troppone

Joss Langford
Lead editor, MyData Operators Thematic Group
joss(at)coelition.org
@data2life

About MyData Global:
MyData Global is an award-winning international nonprofit. The purpose of MyData Global is to empower individuals by improving their right to self-determination regarding their personal data. MyData Global has nearly 90 organisation members and over 600 individual members across industries, and from over 50 countries, on six continents. The nonprofit facilitates the MyData community of several thousand personal data experts and enthusiasts. 

MyData is described in the recently published EU data strategy as a promising initiative for empowering citizens through exercising their digital rights.

All the “proto-operators” featured in the paper

For more information contact:

Teemu Ropponen
General manager, MyData Global
teemu.ropponen(at)mydata.org
Phone +358 40 525 5153
@troppone

Joss Langford
Lead editor, MyData Operators Thematic Group
Joss(at)coelition.org
Phone +44 1392 247131
@data2life

About MyData Global:
MyData Global is an award-winning international nonprofit. The purpose of MyData Global is to empower individuals by improving their right to self-determination regarding their personal data. MyData Global has nearly 90 organisation members and over 600 individual members across industries, and from over 50 countries, on six continents. The nonprofit facilitates the MyData community of several thousand personal data experts and enthusiasts. 

MyData is described in the recently published EU data strategy as a promising initiative for empowering citizens through exercising their digital rights. 

25 September 2019 / MyData 2019 conference opened - Facebook canceled their participation, Children's Digital Rights need to be protected

Globally, one third of internet users are children, yet the digital service providers often say they don’t have children as customers. However we witness that children’s personal data is collected, stored and sold just like the data produced by adults.

“It is not realistic to think that parents are responsible for the transfer of children’s personal data because of the large number of applications used by young people. The solution is also not to influence the activities of individual companies, because the problem is systemic. The whole industry needs help to change its way of working, ” said Irene Leino, Head of Corporate Responsibility at UNICEF Finland, today at the opening day of the MyData conference.

The debate on children’s digital rights will continue tomorrow.

Openness and trust as the foundation for business?

The business of Facebook, Google and other similar companies is based on the huge amount of personal data that they collect. 

In recent years, it has been revealed several times that technology giants have shared and used their customers’ personal information without their consent. In one of the most well known data breaches, Cambridge Analytica company had used sensitive data from millions of Facebook users to influence elections.

This year at the MyData conference, a Facebook representative was also expected to come to the conference to discuss how to rebuild the trust in the era of scandals, data breaches and data misuse. However, only Carole Cadwalladr, journalist who started the Cambridge Analytica investigations, Jessikka Aro, journalist, Teemu Ropponen, General Manager of MyData Global, and mathematician and data activist Paul-Olivier Dehaye participated in the discussion.

“We have been experiencing a political collapse in England and the seeds for this were sown on Facebook in 2016, and we still have no details on what really happened. A total of 12 parliaments have asked Facebook for answers without receiving them. The time for polite conversation is over,” said Guardian reporter Carole Cadwalladr.

MyData Global wants to change the power structure. Users should have control over what data is being collected, who stores it, and where it can be used. 

Contact info

Teemu Ropponen
General manager
MyData Global
+358 40 525 5153
teemu(at)mydata.org 
Twitter: @troppone

Karolina Mackiewicz
Project manager
MyData 2019
+358 44 358 5180
karolina(at)mydata.org  
Twitter: @ka_mackiewicz

Anna Tuomainen
Communications lead
MyData 2019
+358 40 572 3559
ansku(at)mydata.org
Twitter: @annatuom

More photos and images available upon request.

1 July 2019 / Something new for the EU - fair data economy high on the agenda of Finland’s EU Presidency beginning today. MyData is part of the story

Starting today, Finland leads the international conversation on the development of the ground rules for a human-centered data economy. The programme of Finland’s EU Presidency published last Wednesday reads: “More work is needed to achieve a competitive, human-driven data economy by promoting the availability, interoperability and use of data, while also respecting the rights and privacy of individuals. Progress in this area is crucial, since the data economy provides the basis for developing digital services, digital business and new technologies, such as artificial intelligence.”

The Finnish view is that Europe’s data economy should pursue two goals in a complementary manner:

  • Putting individuals in control of their data, following the basic principles laid out both in the GDPR and by the MyData movement,
  • Maximising the use of data. Data only has value when it is being used. And nearly all uses of data have some kind of social or economic utility.

The discussion on fair data economy will happen around two events organised in Helsinki during the second half of 2019. One of them is a global MyData 2019 conference held on 25-27 September 2019, organized by MyData Global – an international non-profit headquartered in Helsinki. The conference is open to decision-makers, business, academia and activists working for human-centric approach to personal data. It is an official associated event of Finland’s EU Presidency. The discussion outcomes of MyData 2019 will feed into the invitation-only high-level conference on data economy organised by the Ministry of Transport and Communications on 24-25 November 2019.

“The aim of MyData is to harness the power of personal data in ways that benefit individuals, fuel innovative business, and help create a more equal society.” explains Teemu Ropponen, General Manager of MyData Global. “This is why it is a crucial element of fair data economy – because it protects the individuals’ rights to data about them, while boosting the creation of new digital services based on trust and data sharing.”

MyData breaking through on the political level

Born in Finland and promoted by a group of enthusiasts, MyData made it through to the country’s new Government Programme, published in June. It is expected that in 2019, MyData conference, organized for the 4th time, will trigger discussions on how to build more transparent, trustworthy and sustainable societies. A year after the introduction of the GDPR, these discussions are more relevant than ever.

“Data economy is one of the key priorities for the Finnish EU Presidency, and MyData is one of the issues the new government wants to work on, according to the recently published Governmental Programme. The MyData 2019 conference will contribute greatly to the conversation we have on the fair data economy and use of personal data here in Finland and in the EU”, outlines Maria Rautavirta, Director of Data Business Unit at the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland.

Trust is essential for a well-functioning digital economy

The topic of the conference is “Rebuilding trust – for human-centered data economy”. Some 1,000 policymakers, representatives of businesses and start-ups, researchers, activists and nonprofits will gather to work together towards more equitable ways to use and share data.

“Based on our research, 42% of Europeans say that a lack of trust towards service providers is preventing them from using some digital services. We need to act fast to regain that trust. MyData in tandem with Sitra’s project IHAN are proof that the change for the better has already started,” says Jaana Sinipuro, Project Director, Human-Driven Data Economy, at The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the Main Partner of the MyData 2019 conference.

The conference full of action

MyData 2019 conference will feature over 100 speakers, presenting on 40+ sessions in 10 thematic track. The confirmed keynote speakers include Grammy award-winning musician Imogen Heap and Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Alexander Stubb. Conversations will be boosted in the extended events organised by the European Commission, BBC, UNICEF, IEEE and the City of Helsinki.

Contact info

Teemu Ropponen
General manager
MyData Global
+358 40 525 5153
teemu(at)mydata.org 
Twitter: @troppone

Karolina Mackiewicz
Project manager
MyData 2019
+358 44 358 5180
karolina(at)mydata.org  
Twitter: @ka_mackiewicz

Anna Tuomainen
Communications lead
MyData 2019
+358 40 572 3559
ansku(at)mydata.org
Twitter: @annatuom

More photos and images available upon request.

11 June 2019 / Finland leads Europe towards a fair data economy – personal data innovations showcased in Helsinki, Finland in September


Finland leads the international conversation on the development of the ground rules for a human-centered data economy. One example of this is the new Finnish Government Programme, which includes the goal that “the right of citizens to their own digital information is strengthened”. This goal can be achieved by implementing the MyData principles.

The programme promotes management of personal data in accordance with the MyData principles. During Finland’s EU presidency in the second half of 2019, numerous events like the MyData 2019 conference will showcase new innovations and steer the direction of the data economy discourse.

Designed to protect digital human rights, MyData opens new opportunities for organisations to develop innovative digital services based on personal data that are built on mutual trust between users and service providers.

“In the last few years, we’ve been flooded with scandals regarding data leaks. The GDPR is an improvement, but it alone is not enough. We want to see people have control over their data and we also want to see new businesses and innovations based on personal data. The MyData model is a vision for new and fairer practices, design principles, and their implementation,” explains Teemu Ropponen, General Manager of MyData Global, an international nonprofit which promotes the MyData concept and organises the MyData 2019 conference.

MyData breaking through on the political level

The inclusion of MyData in the Government Programme is particularly significant in the light of Finland’s upcoming Presidency of the European Council, where data economy is one of the priorities. onThe MyData 2019 conference held in Helsinki on 25-27 September. is an official side event of the Presidency and will fuel discussions on how to build more transparent, trustworthy and sustainable societies. A year after the introduction of the GDPR, these discussions are more topical than ever.

“Data economy is one of the key priorities for the Finnish EU Presidency and MyData is one of the issues the new government wants to work on, according to the recently published Governmental Programme. The MyData 2019 conference will contribute greatly to the conversation we have on the fair data economy and use of personal data here in Finland and in the EU”, outlines Maria Rautavirta, Director of Data Business Unit at the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland.

Trust is essential for a well-functioning digital economy

The topic of the conference is “Rebuilding trust – for human-centered data economy”. Some 1000 representatives of policymakers, businesses, start-ups, researchers, activists and nonprofits will gather to work together towards more equitable ways to use and share data.

“Based on our research, 42% of Europeans say that a lack of trust towards service providers is preventing them from using some digital services. We need to act fast to regain that trust. MyData in tandem with Sitra’s project IHAN are proof that the change for the better has already started,” says Jaana Sinipuro, Project Director, Human-Driven Data Economy, at The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the Main Partner of the MyData 2019 conference.

The conference full of action

The full programme of the MyData 2019 conference was published on Monday, June 10 and features over 100 speakers, including the Grammy award-winning musician Imogen Heap. The main programme consists of 40 sessions around themes such as how to create new fair businesses, the ethics of artificial intelligence and social impact of personal data. Conversations will be boosted in the extended events organised by the European Commission, BBC, UNICEF, IEEE and the City of Helsinki.

Contact info

Teemu Ropponen
General manager
MyData Global
+358 40 525 5153
teemu(at)mydata.org 
Twitter: @troppone

Karolina Mackiewicz
Project manager
MyData 2019
+358 44 358 5180
karolina(at)mydata.org  
Twitter: @ka_mackiewicz

Anna Tuomainen
Communications lead
MyData 2019
+358 40 572 3559
ansku(at)mydata.org
Twitter: @annatuom

More photos and images available upon request.

7 May 2019 / Fairer rules for data economy are emerging - Grammy-award winning recording artist Imogen Heap to discuss positive transformation in the music industry at the MyData 2019 conference

The new data protection regulations and numerous recent personal data scandals are affecting the emergence of more transparent and fair data-driven services in many sectors. Internationally acclaimed artist Imogen Heap has created a premium identity standard and supporting database designed to help musicians retain ownership of their work. She is one of over 100 presenters at the MyData 2019 conference in Helsinki, Finland in September.

Imogen Heap started Mycelia, a not-for-profit research and development hub for musicians focused on practices and technologies supporting a fair, sustainable and vibrant music industry ecosystem. One of Mycelia’s projects is a B2B digital ID solution for music makers called The Creative Passport, helping to connect services and other collaborators to the music maker and their works. Non profit, though ultimately leading to new revenue streams as services innovate on new verified and organised data on behalf of the music maker for fans and new opportunities.

Gathering recognition and support amongst music makers and the industry at large on the Mycelia World Tour, the Creative Passport is launching in beta the first half of this year. Many seeing this as a key missing piece to help bring cohesion and filling the data gaps on musical works, the Creative Passport vies to become a premium digital identity standard for music makers to empower them to be part of the solution.

Underpinning it will be a decentralised registry which contains verified profile information, partnerships and payment mechanisms for new and existing data. Enabling better discoverability for the individual music maker as each Creative Passport is user centric, a beacon of information working 24/7 to fit this digital landscape. Music makers will finally have the ability to contribute data and link to their works directly from one trusted place saving immense amounts of time of cost for the industry at large.

A work in progress the Creative Passport team is spending the next few months on tour, both getting the first version of the product ready and soliciting feedback from music makers to ensure that it delivers on every level at their weekly workshops.

Lack of trust is an obstacle for growth in digital services

Today, the balance of power is weighted towards organisations, which have the power to collect and trade personal data, while individuals have little control over their own data. Whereas The Creative Passport is mainly focused on the music industry – although it has the potential to go beyond into other creative sectors – the MyData movement drives similar change in multiple industries. Both concepts are geared towards a future where the sharing of personal data is based on trust as well as an equitable relationship between individuals and organisations.

In Finland, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra’s IHAN® project is building the foundation for a fair and functioning data economy in Europe. IHAN® supports the creation of new innovative services like the MyCelia Creative Passport and is the main partner for the MyData 2019 conference and supporter of the MyData movement.

”Our extensive international survey revealed that people’s lack of trust towards digital services presents an obstacle to the growth of digital business. We claim that people need an alternative to the dominant platform-based business model. The alternative model is based on transparency, better control of personal data and new kind of personalized services. The new alternative shall lead to successful and trustworthy business relations between people and service providers,” explains Jaana Sinipuro, project director for IHAN®.

MyData 2019 conference rebuilds trust for a fairer data economy

MyData 2019 Conference is the flagship event of the MyData movement and will attract some 1000 people from around the world. It takes place on September 25-27 Helsinki, Finland and is an associated event of the Finnish EU presidency during the second half of 2019. MyData 2019 conference is a forum for businesses, start-ups, researchers, policymakers, activists and NGOs to meet and work together towards more equitable ways to use and share data. 

The MyData movement is steered by the award-winning international nonprofit MyData Global. It was founded in October 2018 and in six months, almost 600 individuals members and over 70 organisations, from over 40 countries on six continents have joined the association.

Contact info

Teemu Ropponen
General manager
MyData Global
+358 40 525 5153
teemu(at)mydata.org 
Twitter: @troppone

Karolina Mackiewicz
Project manager
MyData 2019
+358 44 358 5180
karolina(at)mydata.org  
Twitter: @ka_mackiewicz

Anna Tuomainen
Communications lead
MyData 2019
+358 40 572 3559
ansku(at)mydata.org
Twitter: @annatuom

More photos and images available upon request.

25th February 2019 / European Commission awards MyData Global nonprofit for its work on data as a human right

European Commission awards MyData Global nonprofit for its work on data as a human right – one of nine impactful initiatives shaping the future of the internet

The global digital rights nonprofit MyData Global was one of nine organisations awarded by the European Commission with the Next-Generation Internet award.

The award recognizes the most impactful European initiatives and individuals creating the human-centric, trustworthy and sustainable internet.

The award is given to MyData Global for its work on “Data as human right” in Barcelona, Spain at the 4YFN (4 Years from Now) conference, one of the largest startup events in Europe and part of the Mobile World Congress.

“In the last few years, we’ve been flooded by scandals regarding data leaks. The GDPR is a great starting point for improvement, but it alone is not enough. We want to see individuals given self-determination of their data and also want to see the development of new businesses and innovations based on personal data,” explains MyData General Manager Teemu Ropponen.

Ethical management of personal data is one of the key issues of the future internet

“The time is now ripe for an organisation that seeks to enable a more sustainable and balanced digital society globally. The MyData movement is dedicated to placing the human at the heart of all this data talk. Personal data has enormous potential for making our lives easier and our societies better. And, when used in a way that is respectful of individuals and the standards of fairness, personal data also creates enormous opportunities for new business and innovations,” illustrates MyData Global Chair Sarah Medjek.

MyData is an initiative to help individuals manage and reuse their personal data, currently controlled nearly exclusively by businesses and government agencies.

MyData is both an alternative vision and set of guiding technical principles for developing digital services that give individuals more control over how their personal data is used.

“In China, personal data is used by the state for surveillance of its citizens. Some Silicon Valley tech giants advance surveillance capitalism, in which personal data is used in ways often unknown to the user. We want to advance a European alternative, in which individuals decide how our data is used and benefit from sharing that data. We encourage European leaders and companies to lead the way towards more ethical practices”, Ropponen demands.

The global community developing and promoting MyData was recently formalised as an international nonprofit organisation. Before the official establishment of the association, the community already had activities in more than 20 countries.

In just over 4 months, MyData Global has gotten well over 500 members, including 70 organisations, from over 40 countries on six continents. MyData Global headquarters are in Helsinki, Finland.

Join MyData Global

MyData Global’s mission is to empower individuals by improving their right to self-determination regarding their personal data. The human-centric paradigm aims at a fair, sustainable, and prosperous digital society, where the sharing of personal data is based on trust as well as a balanced and fair relationship between individuals and organisations.

The mission is outlined in the MyData Declaration. Individuals and organisations interested in the mission are welcomed to join the movement and read more at mydata.org.

Additional information:

MyData Declaration – mydata.org/declaration/
MyData – A Nordic Model for human-centered personal data management and processing
Information about the NGI Awardsawards.ngi.eu
The Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative, launched by the European Commission in the autumn of 2016
4YFN (4 Years From Now) – 4yfn.com
Twitter: @mydataorg
Join the discussion with the hashtag #MyData

Contact details:

Teemu Ropponen
General manager
MyData Global
+358 40 525 5153
teemu@mydata.org
Twitter: @troppone

Anna ‘Ansku’ Tuomainen
Head of Communications
MyData Global ry
ansku@mydata.org
+358 40 572 3559

Photos and images are available upon request.

16th November 2018 / MyData Global, a nonprofit dedicated to defending digital human rights, elects its first board of directors

MyData Global, a nonprofit dedicated to defending digital human rights, elects its first board of directors

Over 70 organisations and 400 individuals have formed MyData Global, a nonprofit to promote the ethical use of personal data and to strengthen digital human rights. Yesterday, over 130 members participated in the first general meeting of the organisation, which elected its first board of directors from among 24 candidates. The board combines a diverse mix of backgrounds and expertise and includes seven members from seven different countries. The elected board members are:

Mad Ball (USA), PhD, combining technology and advocacy
Paul-Olivier Dehaye (Switzerland), researcher and data protection activist
Riikka Kämppi (Finland), communications specialist
Sarah Medjek (France), project coordinator and researcher
Julian Ranger (UK), serial entrepreneur & engineer
Berit Skjernaa (Denmark), senior security and privacy specialist
John Wunderlich (Canada), privacy expert

The founding of MyData Global is the result of several years of work. It has connected personal data experts and practitioners from all over the globe into a collaborative network, who have been gathering in annual conferences in Helsinki, Finland, since 2016. The fourth MyData 2019 conference, an associated event of the Finnish EU-presidency in the second half of 2019, will be organised in September 25-27, 2019.

“After many years of hard work to build up a strong community around a common vision, it is amazing to see a global movement reach this level of maturity. Formalising legal structures and procedures is just an enabling step to reach our vision much faster”, explains board member Paul Olivier-Dehaye, researcher and a renowned data protection activist. “Stay tuned for a lot more!”


The award-winning initiative works for a more just, sustainable and prosperous digital society

The MyData initiative was recently awarded the NGI Culture Award (European commission’s “Next Generation Internet” -initiative) as one of the most impactful European initiatives shaping a new culture around Next Generation Internet. The purpose of MyData Global is to empower individuals by improving their right to self-determination regarding their personal data. The human-centric paradigm aims at a fair, sustainable, and prosperous digital society, where the sharing of personal data is based on trust as well as a balanced and fair relationship between individuals and organisations.

I am honored to be elected for the board of an organisation that I consider very important. Not only do I consider the principles and mindset of MyData to be a fundamental human right, I also see it as a keystone for sustainability in the digital world and beyond by empowering people to cooperate on a more enlightened level”, says board member Berit Skjernaa, senior security and privacy specialist at Alexandra Institute in Aarhus, Denmark, and coordinator of MyData activities in Denmark.

The fair use of personal data is one of the defining issues of tomorrow’s internet. AI and other technological developments rely on data generated by and about individuals, and MyData provides a paradigm for guiding those in a way that is based on trust and benefits people.

“MyData is a necessity in our information society, and we – as the MyData community – have the unique opportunity to move personal data from protection to empowerment, and MyData from a concept to THE new paradigm,” rejoices board member Sarah Medjek, researcher and project coordinator at the think and do that FING in France.

Application for membership is open to all individuals and organisations who support the mission of MyData Global.

For more information

board@mydata.org

Ansku Tuomainen
Communications, founding member, MyData Global
ansku@mydata.org
+358 40 572 3559

Apply to become a member!

MyData Graphics

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MyData Wheel

 

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MyData Declaration Badge

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