As MyData Global saw in our reflection on 2021, the transformation towards a human-centric personal data economy is underway. This transformation is driven by two forces: first, the dominant unethical approaches to personal data are starting to show how unsustainable they really are. Secondly, and just as importantly, viable, profitable, and ethical alternatives are capitalising on the rising demand for ethical personal data solutions from consumers, and rapidly growing. In 2022, we intend to harness both of these forces.
The steady drip of personal data-related scandals over the past few years has given impetus for change and raised public anger towards Big Tech. Recent appalling disappointments with Facebook (Meta) and extensive investigations by parliaments worldwide have put Big Tech and platforms like Uber under even more scrutiny.
In response, new regulations are expected around the world.
The European Union (EU) is already moving towards implementing the Data Governance Act, its latest legislation to protect and empower citizens with their data. The Data Governance Act is particularly relevant for the MyData operators, i.e. personal data intermediaries. MyData Global therefore played an active role in the development of the legislation and will be continuing its outreach and engagement with the EU as it moves from legislation to implementation.
Alongside our advocacy towards regulatory bodies, MyData Global will continue to help businesses operate in a more ethically and positive way, and effectively communicate their developments and why they matter. That’s why we are running the MyData Operator Awards for the third year in a row. We are also involved in the development of the European Data Spaces and will push to ensure this is developed with a human-centric mindset. Our goal is twofold: for businesses to have access to personal data and capabilities to create new innovations; and for users to be empowered and in control of their personal data.
Personal data is an area where both technology and policy are nascent. MyData Global must therefore anticipate trends where feasible and adapt to the unexpected. Listening and learning from hundreds of members, organisations, companies, partners, and funders has been and remains critical to our success. In 2022, MyData Global will continue to push boundaries by adopting a stance on personal data monetisation. In the personal data context, this is an important – and contested – topic. As usual, we will work with all stakeholders to find ethical solutions that set a new standard for the sector.
Our impact relies on reaching and engaging with new audiences. MyData Global plans to communicate extensively with the private sector and to share practical cases that demonstrate the power of MyData in global issues, like tackling climate change.
To help us achieve our goals, MyData Global is starting 2022 revitalised with a new Chair, Viivi Lähteenoja, and a diverse Board (some new and some familiar). They will guide us through our last year of pursuing the current strategy and assist with the development of a new strategy, for the period of 2023-2030. At the heart of this new strategy will be the implementation of the MyData Declaration.
To amplify MyData Global’s impact, we will build on the growing MyData community of members, hubs, thematic groups, and other organisations and communities with similar goals. Currently, the hub network spans 30 hubs on 6 continents, and is expanding, and we have members from over 50 countries. Our mission is global.
More than ever, we have the tools, knowledge, and know-how to achieve a sustainable, ethical personal data economy. Sustained by our committed membership, guided by our board, and boosted by our hubs in countries around the world, we are ready to face 2022. To our existing members, thank you – your support is the foundation for our success. To those who sympathise with our mission and want to get more involved, please get in touch!