Public sector digital transformation: GDPR currently hindering cities from using city data to co-create with private sector

Date: 04/02/2019
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The City of Espoo, Finland, wants to initiate discussion on urban authorities’ right to use their own data to develop city services by co-creating not only with research entities but also industry representatives.

Currently the GDPR hinders the public sector from using the high-quality data gathered from the citizens for important public services. The City of Espoo proposes public sector cooperation with private sector companies to be treated with a similar data protection regulation framework than cooperation with research entities, thus to be given the possibility to use - in an ethical and privacy guaranteed manner - citizen data for developing new tools for public administration.

Cities are unable to develop by themselves, for example data-based AI applications and tools, but rely on cooperation with both private sector and public entities. New technologies like AI enable completely new ways of developing public services.

Espoo’s previous experiences demonstrate that artificial intelligence and the utilisation of data have a significant role in health care, whether in developing new service paths or supporting health care professionals in their daily work. Espoo’s experiments also ensure that the citizen data can be processed in a reliable and privacy proof manner for all citizens even in cases where companies are working closely together with the public sector within sensitive information. 

The City of Espoo invites Errin partners facing the same challenges to join the discussion and to share ideas on health data advocacy. The case will be presented in the upcoming Errin Health working group meeting on AI in the spring 2019 (date & place tbc).

Further information and contacts:

Tomas Lehtinen, Data Analyst Consultant at City of Espoo Mayor's Office:

Piia Wollsten, Development Manager and Business Architect at City of Espoo Mayor's Office: