Would you rather......[Data Portability Edition]?

Would you rather…

  • have your data be transferrable (and trackable) across social services you use.
  • have your data be collected directly at each social service you use and not shared.

0 voters

Of course, these are not the only two options. I see many pros and cons around a much discussed topic, data portability. Done well, data portability can change the relationship about who gets to actually control and own their own data. Done poorly, data portability can make it very easy for external actors to surveille people using social services. Which would you like to see your sector moving towards? How would you like to see your own data stored? Have you had any experiences with these systems?

Super stripped down and very simplified, it means that a person can enter their data once into a shared portal and can then take that data with them across shared services. In other words, data portability is “the right for citizens and businesses to request the transfer of their personal data from one service or platform to another for reuse.

Check out the report that the above quote is from and here’s another short article about data portability:

This is such a sticky issue! Wearing my researcher hat, well-done and privacy-preserving data portability could help us answer critical social questions that are hard to answer when different administrative data sources don’t align. Imagine how nice it would be to, for example, easily access housing/education/health/other social service data in one fell swoop - that’s the stuff of dreams!

But as a person who uses social services (and who knows that data portability is often not done well), the idea of such extensive data linkages is very troubling, even if it would reduce the burden of accessing these services. Such services have a long and fraught history of being co-opted for surveillance.

(P.S. I love this new series!)


Thanks so much @colin.hill :raised_hands:t3:

I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts. It IS a sticky situation, and I’m involved in two communities right now that are trying to weigh the pros and cons, so I need as many ideas as I can get :slight_smile:

I wonder if any type of true accountability measure exists that would incentivize those managing the linked data to do it well?

Anyone ever encountered such a thing?