The Nordic Data Imaginary

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Tupasela , A , Snell , K & Tarkkala , H 2020 , ' The Nordic Data Imaginary ' , Big Data & Society , vol. 7 , no. 1 , 2053951720907107 .

Title: The Nordic Data Imaginary
Author: Tupasela, Aaro; Snell, Karoliina; Tarkkala, Heta
Contributor organization: Academic Disciplines of the Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ)
Date: 2020
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: Big Data & Society
ISSN: 2053-9517
Abstract: The Nordic countries aim to have a unique place within the European and global health data economy. They have extensive nationally maintained and centralized health data records, as well as numerous biobanks where data from individuals can be connected based on personal identification numbers. Much of this phenomenon can be attributed to the emergence and development of the Nordic welfare state, where Nordic countries sought to systematically collect large amounts of population data to guide decision making and improve the health and living conditions of the population. Recently, however, the so-called Nordic gold mine of data is being re-imagined in a wholly other context, where data and its ever-increasing logic of accumulation is seen as a driver for economic growth and private business development. This article explores the development of policies and strategies for health data economy in Denmark and Finland. We ask how nation states try to adjust and benefit from new pressures and opportunities to utilize their data resources in data markets. This raises questions of social sustainability in terms of states being producers, providers, and consumers of data. The data imaginaries related to emerging health data markets also provide insight into how a broad range of different data sources, ranging from hospital records and pharmacy prescriptions to biobank sample data, are brought together to enable "full-scale utilization" of health and welfare data.
Subject: 113 Computer and information sciences
Big data
health data
health policy
platform economy
Nordic data gold mine
data imaginary
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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