What is MyData?
MyData refers to human-centric ways of organizing personal data. MyData is not a business or a product; it’s a conceptual framework. Data has become increasingly valued as a business resource. Meanwhile concern over privacy raises questions and the fragmentation of data poses challenges for its effective utilization.
MyData tackles these challenges by putting the individual in control of his or her own data. In this model, organizations grant individuals access to their own data in a machine-readable form. This allows the individuals to utilize their personal data as they see fit. This data can be shared, exchanged or perhaps even sold to other services by the individual or with his permission. Thus the MyData-model could enable the creation of entirely new business models.
To understand what MyData is we have to understand the present situation. Currently a large number of different organizations collect data from us. These include social media platforms, search engines, retail companies, healthcare providers and so on. This process is often opaque and happens behind our backs; we usually neither know what kind of data is being collected nor the value of the data that we give away. In fact, World Economic Forum has estimated that the utilization of personal data is going to be one of the most significant business trends.
Many are unsatisfied with the situation and wish to see more transparent ways of data gathering that would respect privacy. Some have even suggested that no data should be collected at all. But is this viable or even desirable?
The benefits of MyData will be wide, but it needs to be used in fair ways. The individual needs to be in control and be able to benefit from the utilization of his or her data. Humans should not be reduced into business subjects or cogs in a system.
Benefits of MyData
The utilization of personal data holds great potential for individuals, organizations and the society at large.
Individuals would benefit among other things from data-based feedback systems, improved privacy, easily transferable data and services, better recommendation systems and equality of information. MyData-principles would make it easier to understand and manage information gathered from the individual. Access to data would be more transparent and people could choose to utilize their information in ways that suit them.
MyData could create entirely new business opportunities but also established companies could benefit from it. These benefits include greater trust from customers, a more open business environment, reduced transaction costs and easier ways to fulfill privacy obligations. MyData would also help against the winner-takes all-phenomenon where many services die out because their user base never reaches a critical mass.
Because MyData-services would be compatible with each other it would allow easier data transfer and allow companies to draw benefits from user data with a smaller user base.
MyData could have significant social effects. MyData could allow individuals to make more sustainable, healthier and ethical choices when choosing their purchases. This could have positive impact on the society as a whole. MyData would allow human rights and information technology to develop side my side and create a more sustainable basis for developing data-driven technologies. It could help us to avoid monopolistic worst-case scenarios when developing future society.
MyData is very much a work in progress. It’s a globally developing phenomenon, a scenario for future around which business and technology is being developed. As of now there are no unified ways or open standards for handling personal information. Many questions regarding the technology, organization and principles of MyData are still open.
And it’s precisely because the future is still open that we are inviting you to come with us and create new world with MyData!