Understanding the Risks of Data at Scale
October 7, 2016 | Grantee Publications | Technology in the Public Interest, Human Rights

“Data at scale” – digital information collected, stored, and used in innovative ways – presents new opportunities for philanthropic investment, but poses risks as well. A report by Upturn, supported by MacArthur and the Ford Foundation, maps the ways that data at scale may pose risks to philanthropic priorities and beneficiaries. For example, the report shows that social sector projects often depend on data that reflects patterns of bias or discrimination against vulnerable groups and face a challenge of how to avoid reinforcing existing disparities. The report explores key questions that philanthropic staff should consider when undertaking data-intensive work, including whether a project will be aided by data and what kind of data should be collected.

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