Data will become a renewable natural resource that benefits everyone once the information gathered by platform companies is recycled and brought under human control under the principles of fair exchange of information. Finland can be a global vanguard and a trendsetter for the EU. We create common rules at the EU level, as well as solutions for an ecosystem of human-oriented exchange of information.


What's going on?


Significant amounts of data are collected from individuals for systems administered by companies and organisations. Nowadays data is administered mainly by whoever collects it. The growth of platform companies is based on data and its ownership, and the current data economy largely relies on individuals giving up any rights to their data. Would it be possible to build an alternative system under which individuals can actively define the services and the conditions under which their personal information is used?

For data to be used fairly and in a human-oriented manner, we need shared rules and procedures for an ecosystem of fair exchange of information.

A fair data economy benefits everyone. Management of personal information makes everyday life easier and adds to well-being. A unified procedure opens up opportunities for user-oriented innovations and business activities.

The set of projects connected with a data economy with a human face is a continuity of our previous projects for boosting electronic business: the data exchange layer is already speeding up the transfer of data from one system to another in Finland and in Estonia, the country that gave birth to the system. We are also involved in preparing a permit service and the Digital Health HUB to enable the secondary use of social and health data.

What are we doing?

We are building an ecosystem for a fair data economy, together with citizens and different organisations. Our goal is to produce an international IHAN® account system for data exchange, which is similar to the IBAN system commonly used in the world of banking, and to create rules at the EU level. Instead of money, the “currency” to be transferred is information.

We are producing an EU-level road map for a fair data economy. We are creating common rules and a concept for information exchange. We are developing and testing a technical platform for information exchange. We are defining common standards, principles and an administrative model. We are creating the operating model and structure for the “account centre” that administers the whole, which is scheduled to start in 2020.

IHAN® – Human-driven data economy? What’s it about?

The practical pilot projects are connected with areas such as well-being, health, transport, agriculture and forestry.

The IHAN® identification system/“account system” that transcends organisational and national boundaries and is linked by individual data could be adopted across the European Union and, in the longer term, on a global level.

We are building the IHAN® account system for the use of governments, and for standardising communities, companies and the ecosystems that connect them.

Who is involved?

We are developing the account system together with the future users – the potential customers. In the early phases, co-operation will take place between the private, public and third sectors in Finland and Estonia, in addition to which we will seek co-operative partners from other EU countries.

Where have we got to so far?

The key area was launched in 2018 and will conclude in 2021.

How can I get involved?

We are currently gathering together a network of experts to join our project and contribute to its work. Anyone interested may sign up to the network by emailing us at



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