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Helsinki joins the international MyData Global network

Helsinki wants to develop its MyData capabilities. MyData is a principle for managing personal data, which states that people must have the opportunity to manage, utilise and disclose any personal data collected on them. The MyData capabilities will build a path towards a fair, sustainable and healthy digital society in which the sharing and use of personal data are based on a confidential and trusting relationship between individuals and organisations. The smart utilisation of the City’s data also ensures that, by leveraging the data and various analytics, the City can more efficiently provide local residents with personalised services when they need them. In order to further these goals, Helsinki has joined the international MyData Global network.

The City has a wealth of different types of data on local residents, collected through access of various City services, for example. Helsinki wants to utilise this data better than before in cooperation with city residents. Yet, data collection and the digitalisation of services, in and of themselves, are not the end goals of the process. Instead, the City is aiming for the intelligent use of technologies to provide local residents with services that facilitate their daily lives. A key role is played by the utilisation of data on local residents based on their consent.

“The aim of Helsinki’s digitalisation programme is to enable the City to anticipate the needs of its residents on their terms. In practice, we will be implementing the MyData principles by creating the capabilities for the transparent management and authorisation of data. We want Helsinki, together with other Finnish cities, to be an international trendsetter in the building of a people-centric internet with the MyData Global network,” says City of Helsinki’s Chief Digitalisation Officer Mikko Rusama

Residents must have a say on how data collected on them is used

It is Helsinki’s goal to ensure that local residents have a say on how the data collected on them is used. In accordance with the MyData principles, the City transparently indicates what data is collected on local residents, how the data is used and what purposes the data is used for. When utilising data on local residents, the City will also indicate the grounds for using the data: i.e. whether the use is based on consent, a statutory contractual relationship or a customer relationship, for example. If they wish, residents can also decide whether or not their data is shared between City services or disclosed to other organisations, such as other cities. ​

Joining the MyData Global network from the beginning of 2021 will enable Helsinki to influence the development of MyData principles in Finland and the EU and support the realisation of the principles in the operations of cities. The network also serves to improve Helsinki’s competence in the utilisation MyData through peer learning and to promote cooperation in Finland and abroad. The international MyData Global network already includes more than 90 organisations from more than 40 countries. In addition this, the network includes hundreds of private members from six continents. The City of Helsinki has engaged in close cooperation with the network even before the recent developments.

In the spring of 2020, the Finnish Ministry of Finance granted the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Turku and Oulu slightly more than €2 million in funding for MyData projects. The shared goal of the cities is to improve their technical capabilities to ensure that no compromises are needed with regard to the use of resident data, personal data protection and data security.

Read more about the goals of Helsinki’s Data Strategy.

Get to know MyData network here.