Data Privacy

MyData’s new white paper is an important new step towards a personal data ecosystem

MyData, the global personal data non-profit of which digi.me is a founding member, has taken an important step towards a more human-centric future with the publication of its new white paper.

The paper, Understanding MyData Operators, is designed to provide a roadmap towards a better and more efficient personal data infrastructure based around empowering individuals with their own information.

The paper provides a comprehensive approach on how to promote transparency and innovation in personal data services design, focusing on practical aspects of technology and governance, with the aim of establishing full interoperability between different operators, for the benefit of all.

This paper, which establishes a common starting point for interoperability, was a collaboration of 34 experts and supported by 48 personal data operators, including digi.me, from 15 countries around the world.

The research and insight which informed it was gathered through 12 months of workshops around the world and intense online collaboration, bringing together experts, critics and service providers to develop and shape the final paper.

A follow-up to the MyData vision statement published in 2015, which put individuals at the heart of their data, this paper explores the role of MyData operators, which enable sharing of personal data across services where the use of data is transparent and controlled by individuals. Because they provide the infrastructure for personal data management, these operators are key to creating sustainable ecosystems for fair and ethical use of personal data.

Fighting and understanding the impact of Covid-19 across the globe in a privacy-preserving way, as well as the potential to create vastly better public and private services are just some of the many compelling reasons which demonstrate the need for a human-centric data economy.

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.

Teemu Ropponen, general manager of MyData Global, said: “We are really proud that MyData Global has facilitated this landmark paper.

“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, said: “This really is a milestone for human-centric data sharing, use and management.”

Following on from the publication, the MyData Operators Thematic Group will continue to keep the operators and network connected.

MyData Global, meanwhile, 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 and contribute to further common governance practices and interoperability guidelines.

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