EventJuly 24 2014

Responsible Data Forum: Private Sector Data Sharing

9:00 am
The Rockefeller Foundation

Private sector companies accumulate a tremendous amount of data in their day-to-day operations. Market research, communications tracking, client relationship management, and market activities generate a wealth of information, which tends to stay in the private domain. The call for increased privacy standards and opt-out conditions for such data has been reinforced by recent national and international security revelations. At the same time, there is increasing recognition of how private sector data and Big Data can be used for public good by the social sector. Private corporations have begun exploring how to open up or share datasets for civic hackathons, research or to support the work of social impact organizations, giving rise to a new “data philanthropy.”


Co-hosted by the Responsible Data Forum, UN Global Pulse, and the Data & Society Research Institute, this forum will explore the ethical, privacy and security challenges posed by accessing and using private sector data, and share ways to meet those challenges. Use cases will be discussed to draw out practical experiences and elicit best practices from:

  • Civic coding hackathons or competitions that use private sector data such as social media data, cell phone data or other commercial data
  • Think tanks, academics and other institutions seeking to license private sector data for research
  • Data journalists or investigative journalists using private sector data for reporting and visualization


Participants will leave the forum with a stronger understanding of the complex ethical issues at play in accessing private sector data, and a new community of practitioners with whom to continue sharing tools and resources. Forum outputs are expected to include:

  • Developing strategies and guidelines for establishing and managing relationships with private sector data providers
  • Identifying good practices for non-disclosure agreements and data access protocols
  • Creating and sharing resources for understanding the way in which data was originally collected, to address issues of consent, anonymity and data agency
  • Mapping appropriate tools and processes for managing and using data securely and responsibly


The forum will have a limited number of participants to ensure dynamic participation and dialogue, and will follow the Chatham House Rule (information from the discussion can only be used without attribution). Therefore the event is invitation only. To express your interest to attend, please fill out this registration form: http://unglobalpulse.org/rdf-private-sector-data-sharing-regform


The Responsible Data Forum is a series of collaborative events, co-organized by Aspiration and the engine room, and convened in 2014 to develop useful tools and strategies for dealing with the ethical, security and privacy challenges facing data-driven advocacy. http://responsibledata.io/

Global Pulse is a United Nations innovation lab established by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2009, in response to the need for more real-time information and insights on emerging vulnerabilities and changes in human well-being. Global Pulse works to increase the volume of proven Big Data for Development innovations, lower barriers to adoption and scaling, and improve coordination within an emerging community of practice. Through strategic public-private partnerships across its network of Pulse Labs, Global Pulse is working to drive a big data revolution for sustainable development. http://www.unglobalpulse.org

The Data & Society Research Institute is a new, New York City-based think/do tank launching in 2014 dedicated to addressing social, technical, ethical, legal, and policy issues that are emerging because of data-centric technological development. Data & Society provides a space for researchers, entrepreneurs, activists, policy creators, journalists, geeks, and public intellectuals to gather, debate, and engage one another on the key issues introduced by the increasing availability of data in society. http://datasociety.net.s213575.gridserver.com