Call for Proposals for MyData 2019

The call for proposals has now closed.

Thank you for all your wonderful submissions!

If you have any questions, get in touch via hello(at)

What is the MyData 2019 conference?

MyData 2019 is the 4th annual conference of the MyData Global network (revisit also 2016, 2017 & 2018 content), and an associated event of Finland’s EU presidency. It takes place in Helsinki, Finland on 25-27th September 2019.

The conference brings together personal data experts, professionals, and practitioners from all the continents to work together for new and human-centric approaches to personal data use. The conference is a platform for sharing, learning, co-creating, and making connections in order to shift the paradigm of personal data use to a more human-centric and fair.

The main programme of the conference is content submitted by you through this Call for Proposals. The call ends on 31st March. Notification of acceptance will be sent out by 17th April. The full conference programme will be published on 5th June.

Before submitting your proposal, we ask you to read about the MyData principles from the Declaration. Successful proposals will demonstrate how they relate to these principles.

Why participate?

EU’s Third Way

The European Union is leading a revolution in the use of personal data that is perfectly aligned with the MyData mission: putting humans at the centre of data about us. This EU “Third Way” between Silicon Valley and China is the key to Europe’s thriving in the global digital world and MyData 2019 conference is part of the associated events of the Finnish EU presidency in 2019.


In 2018 the world was again flooded with scandals fueled by personal data: data breaches, manipulation of populations, and incitement of hatred. We are beyond tired of that. At MyData 2019, we are focusing on finding, showcasing and acting towards real solutions.

Work together

How are you and your organisation addressing the challenges, and moreover the opportunities around how personal data is used today? What ideas do you have to share and on which to collaborate? How can we make the digital world a fairer and safer place for all citizens, locally and globally?

How the programme is built

Community-curated content

The main programme of the conference is content submitted by you through this Call for Proposals. After the call ends on 31 March, all submissions will be reviewed twice by our community of reviewers. Accepted proposals will be curated to form sessions running in parallel during the two conference days.

Notification of acceptance will be sent out by 17 April. The full conference programme will be published on 5th June.

Programme team

MyData 2019 conference programme is organised by members of the MyData community, a diverse group of experts active in the personal data ecosystem, all driven to address challenges and opportunities around the current state of personal data management.

Expert views and extended events

In addition to the community-curated part of the conference, the programme also includes invited contributions from the world’s leading experts and extended events for in-depth exploration of specific topics.

What kinds of content are welcomed?


The review process will give priority to submissions that proactively seek better ways of doing things rather than stop at pointing out issues. We especially welcome well thought out submissions that include hands-on working and co-creation of solutions.

Issues around personal data are complex and multidimensional, and cannot be solved by a single person, organisation, or sector. Such challenges must be approached from multiple perspectives, with reference to specific topics, by people from varied backgrounds, in very different ways. That’s why we prioritise diversity of submissions on multiple fronts.


If you have reviewed attendees and presenters of most data conferences, you will notice they have very similar profiles. We are especially seeking submissions from traditionally underrepresented groups and different areas of expertise.  Engaging a diversity of voices is a requirement to enable better and more creative problem solving.


We want the programme to engage with the diversity of audiences that converge at MyData 2019.

To facilitate this, we’re asking all submissions to indicate the level of detail which they will involve. This is to aid the audience in judging what content is most relevant to them.

We give descriptions of the labels used below.


The issues surrounding personal data today, very broadly speaking, can be viewed from business, legal, tech, and societal perspectives.

We ask that all submissions indicate 1-2 perspectives which are most relevant to their approach.

These perspectives are described in more details below.

Focus areas

We have also listed important focus areas that we believe are particularly relevant right now to addressing the opportunities and challenges around personal data.

The focus areas as #keywords are described in more detail below.

Note that this is not an exhaustive list and all submissions are welcome to include additional  keywords


Finally, we will prioritise variety and originality in the format of submissions.

We encourage submissions that include audience engagement to work together towards finding new solutions.

We describe below a set of different formats which encourage this interaction and quality of collaboration and highly recommend that all submitters pick one of those formats or propose their own.

Traditional panels and talk + Q&A submissions are possible, but the number of these formats will be limited in the whole programme to prioritise interaction.

Perspectives and keywords explained

Click the + -sign to read more



Submissions from a business perspective seek to explore how typically commercial businesses and their operational models can try and engage in a fair and sustainable personal data economy.

Submissions taking a business perspective consider how businesses can demonstrate that their commercial models support their consumers ethically and overcome the convenience apathy, whilst showcasing that ethical business is better business. Discussions around the conflicts of interest, whether financial incentivisation works, how to ensure individual empowerment over data usage is implemented and maintained, are encouraged.

Concepts to explore:

  • Identify and share existing or tentative business models embedding MyData values and principles.
    • Examples of “MyData compliant” business models already tested: description, development stage, results.
    • Potential, out-of-the-box concepts for co-development.
  • Exploration of how concrete ways in which businesses can incorporate human empowerment with data into their core.
  • Models showing why investment in privacy and respectful treatment of personal data is inevitable, necessary, and undeniably beneficial for prospering businesses.
  • Who is paying for personal data? App developers accessing data, Individuals for data management facilities, retailers accessing data, data brokers?
  • Who might, could, or should finance developments in human centric personal data? Can we identify potential conflicts of interests depending on the type of financing entity?
  • How to disrupt the prevailing AdTech-driven personal data economy? Or how to drive it to change into an industry respectful of people and their data?
  • Are individual financial incentives required to attract widespread public interest for MyData values and principles?
  • How can regulation and business better work together to ensure the needs and rights of the individual are met whilst maintaining corporate goals? Can we showcase practical examples and benefits of solutions?
  • We need to consider the flows of value, money and data in a social context.
    • In the current world order, the benefits and profits are mismatched and this erodes trust. How can we solve the mismatch and increase trust?
    • Currently, value is exchanged for data in a non-transparent manner (free-to-use services). What are the viable, transparent, trust-enabling business models for one-to-many and many-to-one transactions?
  • Business innovation vs technology innovation: how can each fuel the other?


The legal perspective of MyData, and personal data in general approaches this complex set of issues from the perspective of how different forms of legislation and regulation can provide ingredients for solutions that enable the shift to a fair and sustainable digital world. Some examples and ideas are outlined below.

Concepts to explore:


  • Can MyData issues be best solved and regulated on the international or the local level?
  • What are the territorial differences in perspective? How can these align to help individuals and businesses understand what they can expect across the globe?
  • What are the “best and worst” legal frameworks for dealing with MyData?
  • How much should the personal data ecosystem be self-regulated (such as by codes of conduct) or based on social norms?
  • Do we need to adopt new data protection laws or are existing frameworks (such as human rights, competition, IP) enough for the protection of the personal data?
  • Personal data as an asset or a human right? What does this really mean? What are the implications?


  • What is the function of the data subjects’ requests pursuant to the GDPR? Do they fulfil their purpose or are they used in bad faith?
  • Do data protection authorities have bad or good image? Should they help or punish? Should business have initiative to share more information (e.g. on breaches) with them?
  • Does international or local level protection prove a better safeguard from arbitrage?
  • Main points of conflict and examples of good cooperation between several parties participating in one personal data processing (e.g. joint controllers, controllers and processors). What is the best way to establish and manage this legal relationship?
  • Who should be more motivated to enforce MyData rights: individuals, businesses or government?


The tech perspective on MyData emphasises the role of technology in addressing challenges related to personal data and human-centric digital services. Some may argue that the rapid advances in technology witnessed over the past several decades have outpaced developments in other areas, such as law, that aim to protect privacy. The MyData Community aims to showcase and promote how technology can also be wielded towards the benefit of individuals and especially to protect inherent data subject rights.

While the rate of advancement of technology is the key factor that is driving the challenges and concerns around the collection and use of personal data, how it helps to solve the challenges is foggy. We do know that the ultimate system(s) will need adaptability and flexibility to meet all the contextual requirements, and technology and design will be key components of any solution(s). How these pieces come together is still emerging.

What we do know is that sharing of knowledge, experiences, results of experiments (successes and failures) is key to developing a solution for a complex system.

Concepts to explore:

  • What are the the technological systems and patterns that will ensure the rights of individuals can be managed, and what is their current status of development and adoption?
  • In order to ensure data portability and reuse, what kinds of interoperability, portability, semantics, governance, and standards solutions are still needed and how can they collaboratively be developed?
  • To what extent can technology “bake in” values about personal data, and what unintended threats may exist with regards to for example privacy-preserving technologies?
  • How are attitudes shifting among tech leaders with respect to personal data, and what impact will this have on existing technologies and platforms?


As individuals and societies, the stakes around personal data are high. The societal perspective of MyData seeks to tackle these stakes head on, exploring in both critical and creative ways how individuals, communities and societies can use, share and benefit from personal data to support a fair and sustainable data economy for all.

Concepts to explore

Whose responsibility is this anyway?

  • As individuals and societies, what do we know about how personal data is used, and what else do we need to know? Whose responsibility is it to answer these questions and who is doing this well?
  • What are the frameworks for thinking about the individual and society around the use of personal data, and how do they help us solve shared problems?
  • How do different cultures and economies think about personal data and its impact on individuals and society?
  • How can personal data be used to mitigate social prejudices and biases, how can it exacerbate them, or simply entrench a status quo?
  • What role can trust and transparency play here?

A better future

  • Who are the innovators and visionaries shifting how we use personal data to benefit individuals not just as consumers, but also as citizens, students, employees, pensioners…?
  • How can we use personal data for the greater good?
  • How can we help to address issues of digital inclusion?

mydata org



What are your concrete ways of implementing the principles outlined in the MyData Declaration from any perspective?

What can we learn from unsuccessful attempts to build MyData use cases?

  • What are the reasons that many of the business models have not been sustainable (yet)?
  • How can we create better solutions?

Are there fake MyData use cases and how to identify them?


How can design thinking support data-driven organisations to create solutions for handling personal data ethically?

  • Design principles, guidelines and best practices for MyData and data ethics
  • Case studies and lessons learned from trying to implement design thinking.

How can MyData principles be turned into human-centred design solutions? What are relevant case studies and what can be learned from them?

What dark patterns are effective and in practice right now, and how can we use their logic for good?

Design tools and patterns as well as methodologies for co-design


AI has seen rapid advancement in the recent years and has emerged as that one technological concept which is used for decision making in almost any application domain. A central idea of AI is data-oriented learning. So, what is the relationship between MyData and AI?

How is personal data being used in decision making by AI? What kinds of issues should we be solving regarding AI bias?

How can MyData and AI be used to improve access to different products and services for different groups and communities?

What role does and should transparency play in the design and implementation of autonomous systems?


What are the most important ethical issues involved in personal data?

What does it mean to think about trust as a moral issue?

Who is showing that the ethical can be profitable?

How can we approach ethical dilemmas across diverse cultural backgrounds?


What is MyData? What does the MyData Declaration say and what does it mean?

How can I as an individual understand what is happening with my data when I interact with digital technology?

Typically an individual will opt for convenience over control, what implications does this have for MyData the movement and solutions that try an empower the individual?

What is the driving force to get businesses, organisations, mass data collectors, profilers to empower individuals with the capabilities to use their data for their own means?


What differences do we see in how regulated clinical data and less regulated wellness data are being managed and shared? Are the differences static, or are they currently changing? How?

When and how should researchers be granted access to health data? What should be the conditions for use and re-use? What role does anonymization and pseudo-anonymization play in granting access to others?

Hot topics and their relevance to particularly health data:

  • What is special about consent for health data? What rights are applicable for citizens regardless of consent? What about the rights of other healthcare stakeholders?
  • What are the portability and/or interoperability barriers and facilitators for sharing health data? Are they similar or different from cases involving other types of personal data?
  • What can self-sovereign identity solutions offer specifically health-related data?

What new and emerging topics on health data do you think are important to bring to the forefront of discussion? Why?


Personal data use for benefit vs privacy: is there a perfect balance? Or is the question how do we empower each person to find the right balance for themselves?

What are the best technical solutions to solve current privacy concerns?

How is privacy conceived in different places and cultures around the globe?


Can I ‘own’ MyData? Is ‘ownership’ useful language or should we talk about rights to access and control?

  • Is the most powerful idea that MyData is not ownable by anyone but a shared resource to which I can choose to grant access?
  • If MyData is not ownable, then what control do I have over it getting into the ‘wrong hands’ or being used for the ‘wrong things’ or something that I do not agree with?

How do we address organisations who maintain that they ‘own’ the data they have amassed about people?

How is the ownership or shareability governed and rules enforced?


Showcase good MyData policies.

  • How is your city, region, country leading the way in adopting good personal data policies?

Show how MyData ties into already heavily pushed policy initiatives like the EU Digital Single Market, Migration and the Stronger Global Actor policies and initiatives.

Share learnings and case studies about influencing policymaking.

  • How did you succeed in getting good MyData policies adopted?


What is the relationship between MyData and the real-world me?

What is a digital twin and are they important? How?

What is the relationship between real-world biases regarding certain types of identities and their analogues in the digital world?

What are the best technical solutions currently for managing digital identities? Why?


Is consent broken?

How does consent function as a legal instrument? Is it abused?

Consent as a tool for businesses and business models: is it useful and when is it justified?

What are the alternative solutions for issues currently employing consent?


You’re very welcome to add other relevant keywords to your proposal as well.

Level of content detail

In order to engage the different audiences attending MyData 2019 conference, we welcome contributions which fit three broad levels of content detail. We ask all submitters to indicate the level of detail their content will go to in order for the audience to find the right fit for their expertise and interest.


General level, audience-agnostic talk that will appeal to people who are approaching the topic for the first time or have a general interest in the issues. Avoids the use of jargon or introduces terms to laypeople.


Appealing to an audience with some experience with or keen to deepen their expertise of the topic. Assumes general familiarity with the key terms and concepts.


Specialised content including technical aspects appealing to those with deep expertise on the topic or those keen to extend their existing knowledge. Assumes familiarity with the relevant technical terminology.

Submission formats

Different types of submissions are grouped roughly based on the style of content. The length of a format is indicative, and you are welcome a suggest a different time frame for your submission (be sure to indicate this in your description). You might also include two different types in your proposal or propose a format not listed here.


Click the + -sign to read more about the format.

Interactive & participatory

Fishbowl discussion (30min)

Fishbowl discussions are great for presenting a wide range of perspectives on complex issues. It also gives the possibility to engage the audience better. The submitter has the role to steer and moderate the conversation.

Depending on your preferences, you can organise either an open or closed fishbowl.

A short overview of the method and an example session.

Strategic roundtable (1h 15min)

If you’d like to submit a session that aims to identify problems and seek solutions and next steps for a variety of stakeholders, then roundtables are a great format for you. A roundtable doesn’t have a leader as such, bu you as a submitter will facilitate the conversation and ensure maintaining focus on your proposed topic. Some great ground rules for facilitating a roundtable discussion can be found here and here.

Hands-on workshop (3h)

Well-prepared and goal-oriented hands-on workshop in which knowledge on a specific topic is communicated or specific skills are mediated. A great workshop has a tangible output that can be showcased to other conference attendees and audiences afterwards.

Meetup (1h 15min or 3h)

A networking meeting of like-minded participants on a predefined topic. There can be a short presentation to steer the focus of people, while the majority of the meetup’s content is self-organised.

Short & inspiring input

Demo (10+5min)

If you want to bring something — a service, interactive poster, a tech solution, something else you built — to show to the conference audience and get input, the demo format is for you. Describe what you are demoing and especially the kinds of input you want to receive from your audience.

Lightning talk (5min)

A short pitch about a topic, idea, project, or product. If your aim is to raise people’s interest and let others find you for further discussions, submit a proposal for a lightning talk.

Fireside chat (20min)

A fireside chat is either an in-depth interview with an expert and an interviewer, or a dialogue between two perspectives on the same issue.

Do you admire someone and think that others would benefit from their insights too? Propose to interview them at a fireside chat! Do you think you could mutually learn with an expert in a different discipline from yours? Propose a dialogue as a fireside chat! (Hint: we can help to find you a sparring partner!)

All fireside chats at MyData also involve questions from the audience.

Some great tips for planning your fireside chat can be found here.

Artistic installation / performance (propose your own timeframe)

Communicating complex issues through various artistic means is an effective way to get your point across, to make people think, and to engage with your project. Do you visualise personal data? Create interactive installations that highlight how personal data can work? Have you written a poem about the current state of the data economy? Do you have speculative fiction in some medium that addresses issues of personal data? Bring your art for all the world to see at MyData!

Traditional & insightful

Full session/panel (1h 15min)

Balanced and thoughtful discussion by experts on a specific topic. Be sure to describe how your panel or session takes advantage of the deep expertise present in the audience and engages with them. When planning your session or panel submission, also consider including members from traditionally underrepresented groups to the panel.

Short (10+5min) or long (20+10min) presentation

A high-quality presentation on a defined topic. If you decide to submit a traditional presentation, take a moment to plan and describe how you engage with experts and peers in the audience. A poll before and after the session? An original concept for the Q&A? Some other way to make sure your audience can participate?