Estimated reading time 3 min

Who´s using my data?

Today, “the data economy” constitutes a monopolistic and obscure system of platforms that gather as much data about us as possible – mostly without us knowing what’s going on. Is it possible to make the data economy fair in the future?


Jukka Vahti

Project Director, Digital power and democracy



In the 19th episode of the Rise to Shine futurespodcast we aim to find answers to the question “who’s exploiting my data – and what can we do about it?”

One of the megatrends currently shaping the world is the embedding of technology in our everyday lives in numerous ways that would have been hard to imagine just a few years ago.

At the same time, more and more devices are gathering data from our activities both online and offline. A lot of this data gathering is being done without us knowing about it, as a recently published Digitrail survey by Sitra, the Finnish future fund, reveals.

According to the survey, every second, hundreds of organisations and companies are trading in data collected about individuals. The network formed by those trading in data is so complex that understanding the flow of data between services is practically impossible.

“There’s much more richness in data when it crosses different contexts and thresholds”

In this episode of the futurespodcast our guests are Tiina Härkönen, who is a leading specialist at Sitra, and with whom we’ll talk about the results of the Digitrail survey and about the prospects of a fairer data economy that’s being built in the IHAN – Fair Data Economy project.

Another guest of ours is Paul-Olivier Dehaye, a Belgian, Swiss-based mathematician, data expert and personal data activist, who is known – among other things – for his expertise on Cambridge Analytica, the company that was caught trying to influence national elections in different countries around the world by misusing data gathered from Facebook and other sources.

Paul-Olivier has also founded a non-profit organisation called PersonaldataIO. He says there are reasons to be optimistic about the future of the data economy.

“The subject is being talked about more and more. Also, more powerful people now think it’s important. I’m also quite convinced that there’s a lot more value in having an economy around data more centred on the individual. There’s just so much more richness in this data when it crosses different contexts and different thresholds,” Dehaye says in the podcast.

You can find this episode on this web page (just push the “play” button above) and also on Spotify and Apple podcasts by searching for us using our Finnish name “Hyvää huomista –tulevaisuuspodcast”.

And please feel free to take the Digiprofile test and get tips about responsible online behaviour!

The Rise to Shine futurespodcast is produced by Sitra, the Finnish Future Fund. The podcast is not afraid to ask the big questions and embraces not fears the future. You can find all the previous podcast episodes here (most of them produced in Finnish).

What's this about?