Beyond the Net

The Dawn of New Digital Rights for Finnish Citizens

I’m pleased to introduce our new project New Digital Rights MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), that will teach citizens about  their personal data rights through GDPR and MyData frameworks. It is funded by the Internet Society’s Beyond the Net Funding Programme and made possible with volunteers.

The project is a partnership between ISOC Finland Chapter and Open Knowledge Finland. Other NGO’s and associations like Electronic Frontier Finland, Faktabaari, and student organisations will be engaged.

The aim of the project is to make citizens more aware of their digital rights, initially focusing on explaining GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and MyData. The solution is to educate people through a MOOC-platform and series of workshops that create content and train people and organizations to use it.

MyData is the biggest part of our work in Open Knowledge Finland at the moment and we have made a whole conference around this Nordic model of personal data management. It is very much entwined with the changes in the GDPR and we felt that while we made people aware of relevant changes in the European data protection, MyData could be explained in parallel to the GDPR, in a separate, cross-referenced module.

As of now, there will not be a better time to make GDPR understandable than the very year it will be enforced. We have started the work already and will be done just seven months after it is enforced.

For our project to get funding from the Internet Society, we needed to support their mission, which is “to promote the open development, evolution, and the use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world”.

Our project is administered as openly as possible. All our project documents are accessible by anyone at our project folder. The MOOC itself will be open to everyone as well and the content can be used however people see fit. For the internet to evolve into the right direction and to benefit more-and-more people, we need to have citizens who understand their digital rights. That’s exactly what this project aims to do. The constituents of elected governments need to know their rights to elect people who respect those rights.

We have created a project page on Open Knowledge Finland’s website that has information on participating and following what exactly is happening right now.

Do you have a great idea to make your community better via the Internet? Apply for a Beyond the Net grant, which funds projects up to $30,000 USD, and follow Beyond the Net on Twitter!