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Photo: Topias Dean

Published November 25, 2019

Know your bits! – Making the use of our data fairer with transparent rules

The seemingly unregulated data systems controlled by the world’s commercial data giants need to be replaced by a universal operating model based on fair rules. Sitra is providing information, tools and a road map to help create a fair data economy.

Sharing our data with a service can often help us save time, effort and even money in daily life: it can give us convenient access to local weather forecasts, promotions from the local supermarket or even a personalised fitness programme.

Data has a lot of beneficial effects in daily life and at the societal level, but the growth of the data economy and its positive impacts are paralleled by growing concerns about the risks involved. Major platform companies, for example, have repeatedly come under fire for their lack of transparency and the misuse of data in recent years. According to a survey commissioned by Sitra, people’s lack of trust in services can even hinder the growth of digital business.

As part of the IHAN project on a fair data economy, Sitra has been surveying the behaviour and attitudes of Finns and Europeans towards the data economy’s current operating model. The aim is to introduce the concept of a fair data economy into the public discussion, increase awareness of people’s universal rights concerning data and provide tools for people to manage the data that is collected on them.

A topic that is still not talked about enough is data and the use of data, especially considering the rate at which the use of data is developing and diversifying,” says Laura Halenius, Senior Lead at Sitra. “Too many Finns – and even businesses – are much too unaware of who collects data, what data is collected and how data can be used.
“In particular, we need much more discussion about the complex ethical issues related to the massive amount of data out there today. In the future, systems driven by artificial intelligence will collect and exchange this data with each other.”

The “Anatomy of a selfie” video we are now releasing marks the start of a discussion on the various ways our data is used and why we need fair rules for the use of data – rules that are fair for everyone.

Interested in a fair data economy?

Subscribe to the IHAN® newsletter to keep abreast of news and developments, including our tools related to the fair use of data in daily life.

Also take a look at the Road map for a fair data economy, which charts the path to a better data economy. A fair data economy is fair for everyone and it makes it possible to get the most out of digitisation and create economic growth in Finland.

Foundations for the sustainable use of data by businesses will be laid at the Corporate Responsibility Forum for the Fair Data Economy in spring 2020.

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