MyData: Individuals In Control


I was first introduced to the MyData community by my friends Sean Bohan and Katryna Dow, two of the smartest people I know working in the realms of personal data and identity. They went to the MyData conference in 2016 and raved about how many smart and forward-thinking people had assembled to talk about how to evolve data beyond focusing only on protecting people’s information but allowing them to more deeply understand and benefit from it.

I had the honor to do a keynote at the conference last year focused on Prioritizing Human Wellbeing for Ethical AI as data is so foundational to who we are as people. Many times, discussions around data can get esoteric or only market based (e.g., one of my least favorite phrases, “data is the new oil”) versus helping people understand that their personal information in aggregate represents their identity in digital (and soon to be virtual) realms.

Your data is not just about what you buy, or the tweets you share – your data is you.

This is why I’m such an advocate of MyData’s Declaration which you can read here. There is a lot more to it, but the basic idea of the declaration (taken from their site) is:

…to empower individuals with their personal data, thus helping them and their communities develop knowledge, make informed decisions, and interact more consciously and efficiently with each other as well as with organizations.

The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) is excited to sponsor the MyData conference happening at the end of August in Finland this year. Beyond the funding for the sponsorship, however, neither IEEE or I have any financial interests in MyData. But there are a number of programs, reports, and approved standardization projects within the IEEE SA focused on putting people at the center of their data to build on legislation like the GDPR that is helping change the way human information is valued, including:

I’ve included information from the MyData organizers below and I sincerely hope you’re able to attend and highly recommend you get to know their work and the organizations in their growing community that is growing in deep relevance and importance in the global conversation about evolved identity in the algorithmic age.

Information from the MyData Organizers: 

The core idea of MyData is that individuals should be in control of their own data. The MyData approach aims at strengthening digital human rights while opening new opportunities for businesses to develop innovative personal data based services built on mutual trust. It provides the ways to implement parts of the GDPR – like data portability and consent management.

In the last week of August, leading personal data professionals from around the world and across the spectrum of businesses, startups, technology developers, legal and policy experts, social scientists and activists will gather for the third annual MyData conference in Helsinki.

Key topics covered include MyData business models, use cases of GDPR implementation, challenges and solutions in interoperability, the ethics of artificial intelligence, and using collective personal data for societal good. Explore the official program today.

My Data 2018 drills into the first effects of the GDPR, the business of ethical data – and how to make it happen, make it right

By end of August, we will see some of the first effects of GDPR in practice. A fundamental question for the community is how do we make sure that an ethical and human-centered approach to personal data is a catalyst for profitable business and how to make MyData a pragmatic reality. The list of presenters includes over 130 distinguished experts from BBC,  F-Secure, Google, IEEE, Intel, Kesko, Sitra and many other exciting organizations.

In short, the MyData 2018 conference team invites you to join us in enjoying all the flavors of MyData – Business, Legal, Tech and Social. We believe it takes dialogue and collective action across the whole spectrum of expertise to implement our vision of a fair digital society. Only ethically sound approaches to personal data can bring value and wellbeing to citizens, businesses, governments and civil society. From vision to action — the future is now!

For More Information:

There are also several sessions this year on AI and ethics:


Share this Article