Challenges faced by data philanthropy and its role in human welfare

Challenges faced by data philanthropy and its role in human welfare

Aimed at benefiting the public, data philanthropy involves the collaborative effort of private sector companies by the means of haring data. Ranging from humanitarian to academic use, there are several uses of data philanthropy in the modern world.The philanthropy in data philanthropy advocates the fact that data sharing is a positive act, as well as that shared data, is good for the public.


Internet privacy: The biggest challenge faced by data philanthropy is safeguarding the Internet privacy of the user(s), whose data is used for philanthropic purposes. In order to provide anonymity to the user whose data is being accessed, several mathematical techniques like differential privacy and space-time boxes have been introduced. Non-profit organizations are working rigorously to develop better means of safeguarding Internet privacy while making use of the data.

Convincing corporations to hare data: Several companies believe that sharing their data might come at the cost of losing their competitiveness. Big data organizations rely on their data to better understand the customer behavior and remodel their products to target specific user needs. Hence, making this data public might put them at a disadvantage in the market.


Humanitarian aid: Big data has the potential to provide info on forthcoming disasters, thus helping relief organizations to act sooner and locate displaced individuals. To access the availability of basic services like water and electricity, calling patterns of mobile phone users are useful. The same can be used to deduce the socio-economic standings of the public. Several humanitarian corporations around the planet make use of digital services, such as human sensor systems to detect and resolve imminent problems within communities.

Impoverished areas: Even in the modern world, over 2.5bn people live below the poverty line. This situation can be improved by data philanthropy. Statistics point out a widespread use of mobile phones even within the impoverished communities. In addition to mobile data, more data about the underprivileged can be collected by means of social media and governmental statistics. Collecting this data into one big database can assist national and international NGOs in targeting the specific needs of the underprivileged.

Academia: Without data philanthropy, researchers encounter various problems in accessing data required for carrying out specific research. With big data organizations like Facebook and Twitter allowing data grants to researchers, new knowledge can be produced. This new knowledge can be further put into work for the betterment of public and achieving new milestones.

Human rights: The biggest role of data philanthropy is assisting human rights. It allows providing evidence required for truth commissions and war crimes to make final verdicts. Data accumulated on abuse activities can be analyzed scientifically to increase awareness and develop the required means of action. Non-profit organizations compile data with the help of Human Rights monitors in war zones to uncover all the inconsistencies in the total number of war causalities. This helps in bringing the subject to the limelight and exerts pressure on the involved organizations or governments to take justified actions.

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