Understanding MyData Operators


“Understanding MyData Operators” white paper (2020) 

Understanding MyData Operators focuses on practical aspects of technology and governance to make the operation of infrastructures for personal data easier and more human-centric, with the goal of establishing full interoperability between operators.

Download the paper

The paper is 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. See the “proto-operators” featured in the paper below.

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. 

Get a quick insight from this webinar held on 19 May 2020.

About the paper

Joss Langford at the MyData 2019 Conference

The paper was created by the MyData Operators Thematic Group, whose core purpose is to develop the definition and processes associated with the MyData Operator. 

Memorandum of Understanding

Together with the operator white paper the thematic group will publish at this site and maintain a list of “proto-operators” that have committed to collaboration towards interoperability by signing the Proto-operator MoU.

Join the community

If you would like to learn more, or are interested in joining our community, you can find us in the MyData Slack and on regular online meetings.

MyData “proto-operators”

For the white paper, the group studied examples of products, services and organisations that are in one way or another performing or supporting the role of an operator in personal data ecosystems. These actors come in many forms and under many different names: personal data services, personal information management services (PIMS), fiduciaries, and data banks.

The term ‘proto-operator’ is used collectively to refer to these existing organisations that are in reality creating what we will later learn to know as MyData operators. So the “proto” refers to “first, source, parent, preceding, earliest form, original, basic” as the Greek etymology suggests.

For the white paper, we compiled the list of 48 proto-operators from 15 countries shown below. The list is by no means exhaustive, rather it is illustrative and reflective of the methodology of this paper. During our work on the paper, we approached organisations that we knew could qualify as ‘proto-operators’. We requested them to read and comment on the paper draft and subsequently indicate if they wished to be included as proto-operators in the final version. We here only mention those who explicitly responded to the request. There are many others which we do not know of yet and some who did not react to our initial request.

This landscape will be updated regularly on this page, if you consider that your organisation should be included, please contact operators(AT)mydata.org