The MyData Operator Awards recognise companies that have shown leadership by creating solutions that empower individuals to manage their data and make it easier for personal data to be shared and used safely.
The amount of personal data generated about people increases every day. This data holds the potential to unlock a range of benefits for individuals, businesses, governments, and society as a whole. However, the rules and infrastructures that hold and manage this data safely are lacking or fragmented.
The reality for the public is that personal data management seems remote and tedious. They are not alone. As more organisations begin to ingest, use, store, and share personal data, concerns about data protection have increased.
The MyData Operator Awards recognise best practices to ensure privacy and data protection, and empower individuals with their data. In short, this means helping people access and analyse their data to make better-informed decisions. The MyData Operators achieve this by connecting people with their data, such as health, travel, or financial data, with other personal data to build a comprehensive digitised overview of their life.
A key concern for personal data companies is reputation management. Many scandals in 2021, from the Facebook Files to Grindr’s EUR 7 million fine for noncompliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), have highlighted growing concern from consumers and regulators.
2021 saw the EU negotiate the Data Governance Act (DGA). The DGA shows a clear link to the MyData Operators white paper, which describes the operations and functions of what the EU terms as “data intermediation services”. Data intermediaries are organisations that facilitate the flow of personal data across services so that the individuals are in control. MyData Operators are data intermediaries that are already engaged in ethical data practices before the DGA will even start to be implemented. To date, 30 organisations and companies have received MyData Operator Awards, putting them ahead of the curve on compliance and distinguishing themselves as trustworthy businesses.
The tech world thrives on investment, and investors increasingly share concerns about data being handled ethically. Investors want to be assured there isn’t a data handling scandal hiding behind glossy annual reports and impressive growth figures. As noted above, the governments and regulatory bodies are already legislating to open up the personal data economy to improve public services and empower citizens online.
The MyData Operator Award, now in its third year, reflects the rising demand for a more ethical approach to personal data. The Award symbolises best practices that reassure individuals, governments, investors, and other companies and organisations. Furthermore, it fosters co-learning and development between personal data intermediaries and assists them in identifying best practices. Personal data intermediaries like MyData Operators provide the infrastructure that allows for sharing personal data between organisations, with humans as the integration point. By taking part in the MyData Operator Awards, MyData Global members voluntarily share information about their approach to enabling personal data sharing across the personal data ecosystem.
The MyData Operator Award focuses on how personal data intermediaries manage two key issues: transparently communicating their practices and business models; and the extent to which people are the primary beneficiaries of their data. Personal data companies have to demonstrate how their systems meet the MyData principles. As individuals should be free to choose among personal data intermediaries, MyData Operator services need to demonstrate how their services are interoperable with each other.
MyData Global wants more personal data to be shared in a safe and ethical way. The Award gives leaders an opportunity to showcase their hard work, and it seeks to engage with more companies. In a rapidly developing area for technology, business, and policy, there are many companies out there seeking to or already implementing innovative personal data solutions that put power back in the hands of the public
More information can be found on the MyData Operator Award page.
MyData Operator 2022 Award deadlines and process
- Applications open: 12 January 2022
- Applications close: 10 February 2022 (midnight UTC+0)
- Initial feedback: 17 February 2022
- Peer feedback and presentations: 21 February – 4 March 2022
- Re-submissions close: 7 March 2022 (midnight UTC+0)
- Awards made: 16 March 2022
Join the Data Intermediaries Launchpad online event on 19 January at 15:30 UTC+1. Register here!