Every digital transaction accumulates data in various information systems – including personal data. What if you had more control over the use and management of your data? This challenge is met by the MyData principle, which has been tried in practice in Finland with very positive experiences.
My child’s school is going to the indoor swimming pool, but we lost the permission slip in a drawer at home. I need a student ticket for my train trip, but the people who could stamp my certificate at the student affairs office are on summer holiday. Do I need to complete yet another form to renew my disabled parking permit?
These are some examples of everyday situations where citizens would benefit from a smoother flow of information between various city services. For this purpose, we now have MyData: a data processing and management principle that aims to improve people’s ability to define the conditions for processing their own personal data.
Information collected in an open and justified manner and with the consent of both parties enables a smooth flow of information and better services for people. Citizens, on the other hand, always have the right to manage the information collected about them. They may at any time give or refuse their consent to the disclosure or use of such information.
When MyData is used, the flood of permission slips and forms can be stopped with a single click. The forms will be stored safely and automatically transferred to operators who need the information. Of course, this will all happen in a manner that lets people themselves retain control over the processing and use of their personal data.
In Finland, the MyData principle was tried in practice in a joint project between Helsinki, Espoo, Turku and Oulu, which found numerous ways to make people’s daily life easier. The key is to automate the flow of information from one system to another and thereby improve the services provided to city residents.
“The City of Helsinki has huge amounts of data. The key challenge is how to make the data available and compatible on people’s terms, respecting the laws and regulations. Therefore, an important goal of our digital strategy is processing the data of city residents on their terms and putting the MyData principles into practice,” says Mikko Rusama, Chief Digital Officer at the City of Helsinki.
In addition to making daily life easier for city residents, MyData also benefits city employees and decision-makers. The model helps to make smarter plans and better decisions with the help of collected information and forecasting. Automating the flow of information will improve efficiency and reduce costs. The transparency of data processing will also increase. In addition, MyData can be used to influence sustainable development, digital human rights and equality.