Too often, personal data makes headlines for the wrong reasons. We read about privacy scandals and misuse of data that threatens democracy and digital rights. Increasingly, the public wants personal data companies to be ethical, open and transparent about their operations. Furthermore, users want to be in control of their data and choose how to share their data for personal and public benefit without jeopardising their data rights.
We know that not all companies or organisations ignore privacy and digital rights. More and more companies and organisations are realising the benefits of giving people control over their personal data, whilst a small group of mega companies are hitting the headlines for the opposite reason. MyData Global redresses this balance and public perception by helping ethical companies demonstrate their leadership on personal data management and sharing.
The reality for the public is that personal data management seems remote, technical and at times incomprehensible. They are not alone. As more organisations begin to ingest, use, store and share personal data, concerns about data protection have increased. The MyData’s Operator Awards recognise the best of both worlds – ensuring privacy and data protection, while also empowering individuals with their data. Empowering individuals means helping individuals access, manage and analyse their personal data so they can make informed decisions.
The Award focuses on how personal data intermediaries – MyData Operators – manage two key issues: transparently communicating their practices and business models, and the extent to which users are the primary beneficiary of their personal data. Awardees demonstrate how their systems meet the MyData principles by empowering individuals and providing tools to help them manage their personal data. 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.
Learn more about the awarded operators at https://mydata.org/mydata-operators/award/.
To date, 41 companies and organisations have received a MyData Operator Award.
Learn more about the awardees at mydata.org/award
The personal data space is a nascent area for both technology and policy.
As such, several terms have been used over the years to describe companies that facilitate individuals to manage personal data. For example, the EU uses “data intermediaries” in the Data Governance Act.
Intermediaries that allow individuals to manage their own data and facilitate sharing personal data in a safe and ethical manner can participate in the MyData Operator Awards.
The MyData Operator Award recognises personal data companies that have shown leadership by providing human-centric solutions that empower individuals to manage their personal data. The MyData Operator Awards are the gold standard for ethical data intermediaries.
“Understanding MyData Operators” focuses on practical aspects of technology and governance to make the operation of infrastructures for personal data easier and more human-centric, with the goal of establishing full interoperability between operators. The paper is a foundation for a roadmap towards a human-centric personal data infrastructure. In a collaborative effort of 34 experts and supported by 48 personal data operators from 15 countries, a joint starting point for interoperability was established.
This is the update to the 2020 publication including the revised reference model, governance and standards landscape.
“The operator self-descriptions from three years of awards and associated workshops have provided rich content that was previously unavailable. Awarded companies have helped validate the reference model for operator services and guide actions towards interoperability. This is highly important to unlock data sharing across ecosystems and ensure it’s done securely and ethically.” – Antti “Jogi” Poikola, one of the lead editors and Vice-Chair of the Board of MyData Global.