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Building more equal and inclusive digital society with Findy

The history, background, and goals of Findy.

Markus Hautala / May 31, 2021
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We have recently announced that nine public and private sector organizations are joining forces to found the Findy cooperative. With this blog post I hope to enlighten the history, background, and goals of the initiative.

MyData principles set the direction for digital identity

Several members of the Findy cooperative have been strong proponents of MyData movement since its inception and are also members of MyData Global. MyData Global is an international organization whose aim is to improve people's self-determination regarding their personal data as well as their ability to transfer data smoothly from one service provider to another. It strives for a fair and sustainable digital society where the sharing of personal information is based both on trust and a balanced and fair relationship between individuals and organizations. With that in mind it is quite logical that we have sought to develop practical solutions to empower both individuals and organizations to manage and control their identity data in a privacy-protecting way.

Technology developments have paved the way for decentralized identity networks

Due to their independence of any single actor, solutions building on decentralized technologies are increasingly being seen to carry significant potential for the personal data economy. With the help of these tools, we now have the means to establish new types of decentralized trust networks whilst avoiding vendor lock-in. Many members of Findy cooperative have been a Nordic pioneers and contributors within this domain since the TrustNet research program. Meanwhile, required technologies, the trust architecture as well as standards have been developed at a rapid pace. These now include several complementing open source projects, an Internet-scale digital trust architecture as well as various open standard initiatives. All this is well in line with our aim to advance the development of more equal and inclusive digital society.

The Nordic model and technological maturity enable Finland to lead the charge

Finland is well-known for being a technologically advanced country and a leader in EU’s Digital Economy and Society Index rankings. This combined with the Nordic model and mindset, it is hardly a coincidence that a non-profit public-private digital identity initiative of this nature emerged especially from Finland. The Finnish worldview has a deeply engrained understanding of fair market economy, economic efficiency, social equality, and globalization. These are the very ideals that have guided the Findy consortium as well.

Through founding of the Findy cooperative we are jointly contributing to the creation of ethically, economically, and socially sustainable data economy.

With Findy, we aim to give individuals and organizations control over their own data, improve security and trust for all participants as well as promote competitiveness of Finnish and European data economies. In contrast with the currently prevalent platform business model, we believe that basic infrastructures required by the society should not be an area of competition. Instead, healthy competition should exist among market participants that use these infrastructures.

We also believe that these infrastructures should be collaboratively governed by the private and public sectors so that all stakeholders’ interests are represented in a balanced manner.

Collaboration is the key to succeed in global digital economy

Founding of the cooperative is a result of many years of systematic and persistent effort, but also the beginning of a new phase. As Chairman of the Board, I naturally hope that Findy leads to financially sustainable activities for the members of the cooperative and thereby generates more wealth for Finland. In general, the only way to preserve the Nordic model and basic services required by the society is to ensure that tax revenues remain locally. Herein lies the root cause for our participation in the Findy cooperative.

For our part, we want to avoid a situation where the Nordic countries end up as colonies in a global data economy where the value generated by data ends up being transferred abroad. The risk of such a scenario is very real as wealth creation in the digital economy is highly concentrated in the United States and China, with the rest of the world trailing considerably far behind.

Furthermore, we do not believe that we can succeed in global competition alone, but we need to collaborate with equal-minded organizations to collectively succeed in the digital economy in the future. The founding of Findy cooperative is a major step towards this direction and we believe that this is just the beginning of an exciting and rewarding journey.

Please contact me if your organization is also interested in joining the Findy Cooperative.

The blog is originally published at Findy.fi/en.

Markus Hautala
Head of Innovation Center

Markus has a broad experience on building innovative digital services and bringing them to market. He has over 10 years of experience in various lead business development roles within financial services and IT industry. He is currently Head of Innovation Center helping TietoEVRY become the best in class company in discovering new business concepts and scaling them to sizable businesses.

Author

Markus Hautala

Head of Innovation Center

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