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Open letter

Towards a human-centric and cross sectoral personal data space
20 top EU organisations join for a common effort and message towards the human-centric personal data space:
The European strategy for data focuses on putting people first in developing technology, and defending and promoting European values and rights in the digital world. - European Data Strategy
We believe that all sectors and data spaces are currently designing use cases that will require personal data in order to create more personalized products and services for people.
However, we have noticed that no funds in the Digital Europe Program seem to address the importance of placing the individual at the center of the Data Spaces ecosystem. Therefore, we call for the EU to focus on developing a human-centric approach to data, where individuals are in control of their data and can securely share it with trusted organizations.
We understand that tremendous technical and financial efforts are currently being applied to connecting organizations across all sectors to data spaces and building a data sharing infrastructure. However, we strongly advocate for this effort to also include the sharing of personal data. In order to build a strong digital economy, we need to provide the human-centric infrastructure to serve all stakeholders, to enable universities to offer better learning experiences to students, hospitals to engage with patients, governments with citizens, employers with employees, recruiters with job seekers, mobility providers with passengers and financial institutions to deliver better outcomes to their customers.
To achieve this, we recommend including Personal Data Intermediaries (PDIs) in the development and design efforts of most, if not all, Data Spaces. PDIs act as trusted third parties that facilitate the exchange of personal data between individuals and organizations while ensuring data protection and privacy. By including PDIs, we can provide users with transparency and control over their data sharing activities and help organizations access high-quality data and provide better services, leading to increased innovation and competitiveness.
We believe that the EU should allocate part of the funds dedicated to the data space infrastructure towards building a data infrastructure that enables PDIs. This will create a framework for secure data sharing that prioritizes the individual's rights and interests. Organizations working on the architecture, business models, and governance models of data spaces should also include personal data sharing in their plans to contribute to the development of a more transparent, fair, and secure data ecosystem that promotes innovation while safeguarding privacy and data protection.
We are grateful to Prometheus-X for bringing together a coalition of organizations, some of whom have been working for more than 10 years on personal data sharing, to promote this message and help implement what is needed.
Prometheus-X has already developed the first building blocks for PDIs, established its governance structure, and done first implementations in the education & skills data space. It now has support from other data spaces (smart cities, tourism, mobility, media) to reuse that work and build on top of it. We are committed to contributing to the design and deployment of data spaces to ensure a human-centric and cross-sectoral personal data space that will benefit all stakeholders. In conclusion, we strongly believe that personal data sharing is a critical component of the EU's data strategy, and we call for Personal Data Intermediaries to be included in the development and design efforts of Data Spaces. We urge the EU to allocate funds towards building a data infrastructure that enables PDIs and for organizations to consider personal data sharing when developing their data spaces to contribute to the development of a more transparent and fair data ecosystem.