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Published December 17, 2018

Dear Father Christmas, we data citizens need you

When you find yourself in trouble in Finland, you need to call for Father Christmas for help. Since so many companies seem to find it so difficult to use our data fairly only magical powers can ensure that personal data is appropriately handled.
Writer
Leading Specialist, IHAN - Humandriven data economy, Sitra

Dear Father Christmas,

I haven’t written to you in years, because I already have everything. These days, I’m much happier giving out presents than receiving them. But today, I find myself with one small wish: please, give us data peace. I would like a year completely free of newspaper headlines about data breach scandals and data abuse. Not that I want these things to happen in secret. I just wish that platform companies – and all the others – would steer clear of intentionally misusing my data and neglecting information security.

Could we also have a nice, special place for data consent? It could be like a fancy wallet where I could keep several digital identities and that would allow me to only permit access to my data to companies who truly deserve it. Companies who use the data fairly. This would mean I wouldn’t have to read hundreds of pages of terms of services, intentionally written to be ambiguous and long-winded with the sole purpose of covering the backside of some company. I never again want to click on the “I agree” to the terms and conditions of some dodgy business just to be able to participate in something fun my colleagues or friends are doing. I could just have all the terms and conditions in my wallet, and I could take a look at them whenever I want to see who has access and what my data is used for.

Oh, one more – I would like a brand-new GDPR gadget! GDPR is there to protect me, yes, but it doesn’t provide me with any tools to move my data when I want. It would be great to have control over my data so that it could be shared with different services and parties. You see, I hate it when some faceless giant collects my data, keeps it for itself or sells it to its mean friends behind my back.

I wish the fair-playing companies could combine my data in new ways, so I could gain access to brand-new services customised exactly for me. I could allow them to combine my data, and then I could make them stop. For a shorter time or for a longer time. Some could have more limited permission and others might have more rights.

So please, Father Christmas, bring me data peace, an authorisation wallet and a GDPR gadget, and I promise I’ll give you a kiss and be super extra nice next year! Well, pretty nice at least.

Sincerely, Tiina

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