When visit shops or websites, we often asked for some form of data – our age, our address, our email. If we join a club or an online group or sign our child up to a club, we provide more data. Our schools, universities, workplaces, and so on, all want data about us. We join social media platforms and we not only need to provide data to join, but then we share lots of data on them.
But what happens to the data collected about us and the data we share?
Most of us don’t know. We imagine it is stored in some sort of vault under lock and key. We assume there are enforceable laws that make the organisations who collect the data behave well. And even though there was terms and conditions that we had to accept or click a ‘I consent’ button to make disappear, we didn’t read the fine print.
So we imagine and assume (and hope) the data we provide is ok.
This is true of us and of people affected by crises who are being helped by humanitarian agencies. The thing is – it doesn’t need to be this way. It would not take much time or resources to create visual signs, banners, pamphlet in the local language saying what data we need, why, and how we use it. And include an ‘if you have concerns’ or ‘if you want access’ section too.
It seems basic. Kind. Human even. And yet extremely rare.
Let’s change that. Let’s start today.