A customer service agent using a tablet computer while assisting a customer.
 Helsinki is utilising analytics and data to target its services to residents in a predictive way, without compromising privacy or information security. Image: Jussi Hellsten

Helsinki invests in transparency of personal data use

Finland’s capital has announced a service that enables its residents to define, understand and manage the personal and other data that accumulates as they, for example, use city-provided services.

Aleksi Teivainen


The service has been designed to ensure citizens can verify and determine what data is collected from them and how the data is used and shared in building personal data-based services, in accordance with the principles of MyData.

The principles dictate that individuals should have the possibility to manage, use and give consent for the use of data gathered from them.

“In the future, we want to target the city services in a predictive way that calls for the utilisation of analytics and data,” stated Jan Vapaavuori, the Mayor of Helsinki. “Trust is the essence of data usage: the citizens need to be [able] to trust that the city is using data on their behalf and with their consent so that it benefits both, the citizens and the city.”

“This is what MyData is basically about.”

The solutions will be provided by Vastuu Group, a developer of data-based services headquartered in Espoo. Developed in collaboration with Fujitsu Finland, Nixu, Personium and 1001 Lakes, they enable the management and de-centralisation of personal and other data gathered from individuals in a way that the information moves between parties without unnecessary copies.

The Finnish capital taking the lead in developing human-centric and sustainable services in co-operation with the public and private sector is “awesome”, rejoiced Mika Huhtamäki, the deputy chief executive of Vastuu Group.

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