This is how MyData can make your life easier

17.5.2022 10.00Updated: 30.8.2022 8.45
 Two young adults sitting on a bench at a metro station.

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 MyData project increased our understanding of ethical use of data and the potential of using authorised data. The project also allowed Espoo residents to get involved in planning the city’s services. They had a chance to come up with cases in which they would be willing to share their data,” says Development Manager Piia Wollstén from the City of Espoo’s unit for knowledge management.

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.

Read more about the lessons learned during the project here: MyData(external link).
Read also: Espoo to join international MyData Global organisation 

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