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Sitra challenges you to try out the data economy rulebook

In data networks, the business models of organisations require new kinds of approaches and tools. Using Sitra’s rulebook saves time and helps you pay attention to different aspects of data sharing with partners. Test it and tell us what you think!


Data yields the greatest value when it is not only owned but also refined, enriched and shared. Nevertheless, this is not easy and requires the consideration of many different aspects when a data network is created.

In winter 2019, Sitra gathered a multidisciplinary group of experts and, as part of the IHAN fair data economy project, started to compile a rulebook that helps organisations create data networks.

The first version of the rulebook defines the legal, business, technical and administrative rules that organisations need to comply with when sharing data in a data network. The guidelines also devote attention to ethical principles, in addition to the privacy and data protection requirements.

  • The rulebook includes checklists that can be used to ensure that all the aspects associated with the creation of a data network are considered. Business models take centre stage in the new networks that use data. Issues that must be resolved include the creation of value and the sharing of this value among the members of the network, data ownership, usage rights and governance. In addition, the checklists help with technical, ethical and contractual questions.
  • In a data network, even the existence of just two parties means that there will be dozens of bilateral agreements between them. This challenge has been resolved by creating a Constitutive Agreement, which will be signed by all organisations joining the data network in question. New members can join the network by signing a related agreement. There is also a dedicated agreement for each data source, describing how and for which purposes data may be used. Depending on the data to be shared, attention must be paid to matters related to data ownership, the Data Protection Act and permissions. A separate agreement must also be concluded for the governance model. The rulebook offers templates for all these agreements.
  • A data network should adhere to shared values. In reality, there may be a wide range of different networks so the rulebook describes what ethical considerations should be gone through and how they should be approached from the point of view of privacy, human-driven operations, transparency, information security and sustainability, for example.

Data networks can be created for many different needs. In the rulebook event organised by Sitra on 11 February 2020, examples of data networks included a harbour area in Holland, a new tramline in Finland and a data sharing ecosystem built around crane usage data that is being used for industrial research.

The rulebook is not yet ready or perfect. Development will continue and the next versions will be published in March, June and late 2020.

The panel discussion at the rulebook event concluded that the most important issue was to gather as many experiences of rulebook usage as possible so that further development becomes easier. The goal is to turn the rulebook into a product that Finland can export to other European countries.

We challenge all Finnish organisations to read the rulebook and develop new data-based services together with their partners while creating value fairly for all data network members.

We invite you to take part in the challenge, order the rulebook and share your experiences with us. You can also participate in further development with us – we are now expanding our pool of developers. There is a lot of work to do! Contact the authors of this article or send an email to


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