MyData Global Blog


MyData Netherlands meeting: MyData community looks outward and to the future

After two years of travel restrictions, the MyData community met in person for talks and discussions in plenary, workshops and in smaller groups. Despite last minute COVID-19 related restrictions, over 50 people attended in-person and over 150 watched and participated online. 

Highlights include the keynote from Amsterdam’s chief technology officer, Ger Baron and the awarding of the MyData Operator 2021 Awards to 22 companies and organisations. 

A crowded field and a ticking clock 

The agendas of community meetings often involve detail-crunching on business, technical, and legal matters and discussion on pressing societal issues. The MyData Netherlands meeting was no exception. Everything from children’s digital rights, to the MyData dictionary, to the MIM4, a personal data standard for cities, was discussed. 

Underlying these discussions was the goal to make MyData Global as relevant, sustainable, encouraging, and fair as possible. There was a sense from delegates that, whilst MyData Global has come a long way in a short period of time, the overall personal data economy is racing ahead with not enough thought or attention given to existing or future risks. 

Sessions overview 

To kick off the meeting, Koen de Jong, an advisor from InnoValor, gave an overview of the Dutch personal data management landscape. This served as a reminder that the Netherlands is in many ways ahead of the curve in the personal data economy. Taking a more regional approach, the following workshop focused on the EU Digital Identity UX design challenge and was organised by De Volksbank, Schluss, SIDN, and Rabobank. 

Among the contentious but important issues discussed was MyData Global’s intention to take a stance on personal data monetisation. As Sille Sepp, programmes lead of MyData Global summarised: “Personal data monetisation is a complex topic, where opinions are scattered, and often even polarised. The workshop was aimed at mapping the topic together with the participants in order to prepare the ground for a more extensive deliberation process starting in December. We also invite interested parties to join the multi-stakeholder group to contribute to establishing a well-founded and justified position on the topic.”

Cities are fertile ground for MyData implementation. Sarah Medjek, MyData Global’s first chair and project manager at FING, ran a workshop on how more cities can start to implement the MyData Declaration. In the same vein,Viivi Lähteenoja, special advisor (data policy) at the City of Helsinki presented on how Helsinki has already put the MyData Declaration into practice

To close the day, 22 companies and organisations received the MyData Operator 2021 Award. As MyData Global Chair, Antti “Jogi” Poikola said: “The development of the Data Governance Act (DGA) shows a clear link to the MyData Operators white paper, which describes the operations and functions of what the EU terms as ‘data intermediaries’. Seeing how the white paper and the MyData Operator Awards have influenced legislation is a significant step in realising the principles in the MyData Declaration.”  

Day two started with an insightful plenary about the Qiy Foundation, “From brilliant failure to a successful second chance”. This was followed by a workshop on MyData in the Global Majority, “Opportunities and challenges from African perspectives”. Two workshops in the afternoon reflected the overall split of the two days: first, “A closer look at data governance and the European data strategy”; second, “Envisioning the best digital futures for children, guardians, and their circle of trust”. When closing the two days, MyData Global’s general manager, Teemu Ropponen, reflected on the breadth of the agenda and the scale of ambition as MyData Global starts to prepare for the MyData 2022 conference, held in June in Helsinki, Finland. 

All the shared materials from the Community Meeting can be found here:

MyData Global hosts meetings with support from our members and sponsors. We would like to especially thank the City of Amsterdam, DeVolksbank, Fujitsu, InnoValor, Octko, Open Future, Schluss, SIDN, and Vastuu for their support. 

Videos and photos

Photos (full album)

Opening speech and Dutch Personal Data Landscape

Announcing the MyData Operator Awardees

Workshop: MyData in the Global Majority

Workshop: MyData4Children