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Beyond the Net 7 February 2019

A Free and Open Course on Data Protection in the Post-GDPR World

By Raoul PlommerGuest Author

Last year, we published “The Dawn of New Digital Rights for Finnish Citizens,” about the launch of the New Digital Rights MOOC, a collaboration between Open Knowledge Finland and the Internet Society’s Finland Chapter. Raoul Plommer wrote, “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…through a MOOC platform and series of workshops that create content and train people and organizations to use it.” Plommer has written an update on the project:

We have come a long way from the beginning of last year, when we were given funding for the project from Internet Society’s Beyond the Net Funding Programme, and Eurooppatiedotus, which is a sub-organization of the Finnish Foreign Ministry.

It took us several months to agree on what is essential to know about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how we would present it to the general public. It was also challenging to get all the content done without actually paying everyone for all their hard work. Both of our funders had a strict limit on how much money could be spent on salaries (15% and 30%). On the other hand, they both allowed paying companies and outsourcing work to people outside the organization, which made the progress unnecessarily tricky, but at least possible.

Here’s what we’ve done:

  1. Seven workshops on creating content, including a larger workshop day after the GDPR day on the 25th of May, with 23 people making data requests to different organizations.
  2. So far, two training workshops, of which one was for students in Tampere, and another for pensioners’ IT-trainers in Helsinki. In the latter, they even wrote a blog about the session.
    We’re still trying to confirm the date for a third training session for Boy Scouts in February, and hopefully will be able to set the date for it next week.
  3. We’ve received a decent amount of coverage in the media:
    Helsingin Sanomat (the biggest newspaper in Finland)
    MTV Uutiset
    GDPR Today
    We’re also waiting on another Finnish reporter to go through our course material and write a story about his experience – hopefully it’ll happen soon!
  4. Had the launch event on the 15th of January in Eurooppasali.
  5. We’ve had 2/4 of the introductory/feedback webinars, which take place on Tuesdays, at 16 UTC.
  6. I applied for a session to present our project at RightsCon 2019 and hopefully we’ll get accepted!

I also want people to be aware that the license for the whole project is Creative Commons 4.0, which essentially means that we want people to do anything they want with the material, without asking for a separate permission to do so, even for commercial purposes.

Most of all, we want as many people as possible to know their rights and how to exercise them. This is really for all of our benefit.

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!

This post was first published at digirights.infowhere you can find more photos from the project.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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