Friday, January 26, 2018

don't deny them their data points

So I was at some training again yesterday and there was the usual chat about how much people online know abut you, and how bad it is that, that the government and the private companies all know where you are and what you're doing and I was back suddenly to five years ago and writing a paper about how a culture shift was needed, because so many people felt they were protecting people by not recording things about them. The fear their details would be stored up and used against them later, the desire to protect them from the judgement of others was overwhelming.

The urge comes from a good place, but I feel it is fundamentally misguided.

Recording people's information accurately, respectfully and securely is an act of true respect for that individual. Every time you squirrel, omit or conceal a person's data points you are denying them recorded reality. You are making yourself adjudicator, gatekeeper. You are asserting privilege, and denying others their rights.

Each data point changes the world. Those of us lucky enough to be purchasing, paying, buying, reproducing, shaping, constructing and changing are constantly creating data-casts around us. Those whose data gets squirrelled and forgotten are often the damaged, disenfranchised and disengaged.

Don't deny them their data points.

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