Paper

Making Data Work for the Poor

Should data collectors take greater responsibility for protecting customers' data?

With the rise of digital technologies, the use of personal data by private companies is growing rapidly. But how do we know they will use this data responsibly and in consumers’ best interests? In emerging and developing markets, the question is particularly acute because the predominant model rests upon obtaining consumer consent to use their data. Informed consent, however, is unrealistic given the complexity of disclosures and particularly so in countries where there are literacy, language and technological barriers.

It’s time for a new approach to digital privacy and protection. To safeguard the interests of billions of consumers, many of whom are coming online for the first time and opening up digital financial services, CGAP has identified three key ways for countries to better protect their citizens, especially the poor. The new approaches would shift the burden of responsibility off the shoulders of consumers and onto the data collectors and users.