Sometimes we get the basics wrong. Very wrong. The UK Ministry of Defence sending an email to over 250 Afghan Interpreters with their email addresses in the ‘To:’ line is an example of this. Some of these email addresses had profile pictures connected to them. Therefore, pictures of some of the interpreters have also been shared.
This type of thing is not uncommon. My email is included in multiple group emails sent out everyday. However, my life is currently not at risk. I am not seen as ‘helping the enemy’. And I am not seeking asylum or relocation in another country.
What not to do seems quite straightforward, quite basic. And yet, clearly it is not. One slip up and lives are lost.
The thing is this is not a technology problem or policy problem. This is human error. And this is about people not connecting human harm with data and digital. And it is shocking this happens so quickly after the news of databases of personal information about Afghans collected by militaries now in the hands of the Taliban. Lives of the ‘others’ treated so carelessly.
Apologies are easy to give. Behaviour change is much harder.
Take the harder road.