Finland to lead the way in MyData

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 4.7.2018 11.02
Press release
Finland to lead the way in MyData (Foto:
Finland to lead the way in MyData (Foto:

Our digital footprint is growing fast. It may be difficult for individuals to understand what data different organisations, digital services and platforms have collected about them and how that data is being used. New practices and solutions are emerging, however. They will make it easier to understand data use or consent to it.

The MyData approach strives to offer people the possibility to use and share their personal information. The new European data protection legislation paves the way for this. Individuals have the right to access information about them and move it from one system to another.

Easy sharing of data and human-centred, open and compatible platforms are a great opportunity for Finland to stand out in international competition and shape international practices.

These are some of the issues presented in a recent MyData report. It is an update to an earlier report, issued in 2014, which introduced the MyData approach nationally and internationally.

The report update was part of the Digital Health Revolution research project. It is published by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and produced by an expert group at Open Knowledge Finland.

"MyData meets the data protection requirements in the EU. It is also a way to realise individuals' data rights in practice. It offers new business potential and acts as a counterforce to global data collection platforms," says Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner.

"With MyData we can truly move from data silos to network economy. The sharing and combining of data can generate added value to everyone. This is a real opportunity for the EU's data economy. We have already the necessary regulatory framework in place," Minister Berner says.

What is MyData?

MyData is a model for personal data management that offers individuals access to and control over the data collected about them. The core idea is that individuals should be in control of how their personal data is being used and reused.

The MyData approach offers organisations, devices and systems a wider range of opportunities to deploy and combine data in their services. It is based on the needs and wants of MyData users. Data deployment is possible when users consent to it and it will benefit the users as well.

This answers even to the challenge of transparency in data use. Users will be able to know how their personal data is being used. They will also be able to better manage the ways their data is being deployed compared to the current system relying on terms of use.

MyData means that individuals can move register data or their identification data about their shopping history, consumption preferences or education, for example, from one service to another. Consumers make the choice themselves and are awarded with better, more personalised services.

Data can be used to develop proactive health services or life-management applications, for example.

At the level of society, data can be used to develop better targeted public services. Administrative silos can be bridged, and services can be based on combinations of public and private data.

The transferability of data will promote open competition in the market, because it will be easy for anyone to switch from one service to another.

A core idea is that users become active participants in the exchange of digital services. This shift in perspective will enable the creation of new practices and business activities.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the MyData approach have very similar objectives. The MyData approach aims to ensure that it will be easy and beneficial for individuals to exercise their data rights. At the same time, it must be easy and flexible for organisations to comply with the regulations. In this way, data benefits both the customers and the service providers.

MyData Conference a meeting place for experts

Finland has taken the initiative in discussions on the MyData model. The MyData report, published by the Ministry of Transport and Communications in 2014, has encouraged enterprises, public administration and ordinary people to consider the possibilities and effects of a new kind of personal data approach.

In August this year, the third MyData Conference organised in Helsinki will continue the discussions initiated by the now released report regarding MyData and its usages and possibilities.

These discussions also continue in the MyData alliance, which is a network for enterprises, research organisation and public-sector operators. It develops the MyData approach further, shares its views on MyData solutions and helps start MyData-related pilot projects. It is managed by the Ministry of Transport and Communications together with Aalto University.

Taru Rastas, Senior Ministerial Adivser, tel. +358 295 34 2617