Finland data economy principles unveiled at high level conference

finland data economy
© iStock/benedek

Ministers at a high level conference in Finland have published a list of future principles for a European data economy.

Finland’s Ministers of Transport and Communications, Local Government and Ownership Steering, and Science and Culture launched their ‘Principles for a human-centric, thriving and balanced data economy’ at the high level conference, held in Helsinki and attended by representatives of EU Member States and institutions, private businesses and civil society bodies. Science and Culture Minister Hanna Kosonen said: “It is important that we promote the openness and reuse of data for the benefit of research, creative industries and society as a whole. The principles announced at the conference will have a key impact on the development of the European data economy.”

The six guiding principles, drawn up under the leadership of Finland with input from Member States, public authorities, private business and research institutions, are designed to promote the development of a data economy which is balanced, effective and centred around user needs. They are:

  • Access – ensuring legal and technical solutions are in place to facilitate users’ access to their own data and ensure the openness of public data;
  • Share – enabling the flow of data by supporting ‘reusable’, interoperable datasets;
  • Act – empowering users to assert and manage their rights under data privacy regulations;
  • Trust – ensuring data management is ethically sustainable as a matter of course;
  • Innovate – implementing equality of access to the data market and promoting undistorted competition within the sector; and
  • Learn – integrating lifelong learning and technological competence building into the data management sector and supporting the necessary work-based learning procedures to enact widespread societal change.

Sirpa Paatero, Finland’s Minister of Local Government and Ownership Steering, said: “The development of public administration is interlinked with the development of data economy. It is possible to make more efficient use of our information resources, for example in the development of services in the private and public sectors. With the help of information produced by public administration new business can be generated. In addition, the principles we have drawn up serve our objectives by, for example, assuring citizens that their fundamental rights will be safeguarded as the data economy develops.”

Minister of Transport and Communications Sanna Marin said: “European values make for a solid foundation for a data economy that respects citizens’ rights. Data must be processed in a human-centred manner, respecting the rights of individuals.”


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