How Philanthropy Can Make Sure Data Is Used to Help — Not Harm

Article by Ryan Merkley: “We are living in an extractive data economy. Every day, people generate a firehose of new data on hundreds of apps and services. These data are often sold by data brokers indiscriminately, embedded into user profiles for ad targeting, and used to train large language models such as Chat GPT. Communities and individuals should benefit from data made by and about them, but they don’t.

That needs to change. A report released last month by the Aspen Institute, where I work, calls on foundations and other donors to lead the way in addressing these disparities and promoting responsible uses of data in their own practices and in the work of grantees. Among other things, it suggests that funders encourage grantees to make sure their data accurately represents the communities they serve and support their efforts to make that data available and accessible to constituents…(More)”.