MyData 101


MyData is a human centred approach in personal data management that combines industry need to data with digital human rights. MyData 2017 conference brings together an international crowd of 1000 people from businesses, research community, civil society and government to shape the fundamentals on how personal data is managed globally.


Personal data has increasingly significant social, economic, and practical value. The EU’s recent General Data Protection Regulation changes the landscape in which organisations operate. Organisations around the globe are busy exploring the opportunities of human­ centric personal data. Whole industries such as energy, health and well­being, or finance, are already being disrupted by this trend.


Make it happen, make it right!

Join the conference to learn and to share your expertise on the current landscape and future roadmap of the emerging world of human ­centric personal data management.

MyData Is ...

A Concept

Like Big Data, MyData is an umbrella term for a type of personal data management that encompasses many different projects and initiatives.


Like an email account, MyData operators can be hosted by many different parties, or even self-hosted. It is not one particular tool or company.

Work in Progress

Like mobile telephony, MyData will have succeeded when it is a global, accessible network available for everyone. This is what we are working towards.

MyData Is not ...

One Project

There are many initiatives around the world, ranging from technical to legal, that fall within the MyData framework, whether they use the term “MyData” or not.

Geographically Limited

While there are certain countries with more active MyData movements than others, they are all inspired by initiatives from around the world. MyData teams in Finland, Estonia, and France are collaborating with others globally to make this system work.

Another Data Silo

Born out of the Open Knowledge movement, MyData is being developed as an open standards platform that will facilitate both for-profit and not-for-profit data-based services.

MyData is both an alternative vision and guiding technical principles for how we, as individuals, can have more control over the data trails we leave behind us in our everyday actions.

The core idea is that we, you and I, should have an easy way to see where data about us goes, specify who can use it, and alter these decisions over time.

To do this, we are developing a standardised, open, and mediated approach to personal data management by creating “MyData operators”.

The MyData operator account would act like an email account for your different data streams. Like email, different parties can host an operator account, with different sets of functionalities. Some MyData operators could also provide personal data storage solutions, others could perform data analytics or work as identity provider. The one requirement for a MyData operator is that it lets individual receive and send data streams according to one interoperable set of standards.

This “MyData” model does a few things that the current data ecosystem does not. It would let you consent to the secondary use of your data. For example, you could take data collected about your purchasing habits by a loyalty card to your favorite grocery store and use it in a personal financial management system to see how you are spending your money on groceries.

It would also let you see and change how you consent to your data being used over time. As things stand we have complicated terms of service agreements where we just check yes or no one time, without being entirely sure what we are agreeing to.

It would also let you take your data from one place to another if you decide to change services.

Right now, the technical solutions exist to let your manage your data according to a MyData approach. There are many other initiatives, emerging out of both the public and private sectors around the world, paving the way for human-centered personal data management. We believe strongly in the need to collaborate with other initiatives in order to develop an infrastructure in a way that works with all the complicated systems at work in the current data landscape.

We’re working with a wide and diverse group of partners to make this work, and to make it right. We are in the midst of developing this technology, piloting it in cooperation with local businesses, and fostering the creation of similar platforms.

Advocates at Open Knowledge Finland have published a white paper on MyData together with the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications. It covers the following topics:

1 – What is MyData?

2 – What are the benefits of MyData?

3 – Why is MyData an infrastructure level approach?

4 – How does MyData approach work in practice?

5 – Why is MyData focused on consents?

6 – Why should companies be interested in MyData?

7 – How does MyData help me manage my privacy?

8 – What are the next steps?

9 – Give me some examples!

Read it here.