Do Development Constituents Have a Right to Be Forgotten Too?

right-to-be-forgotten
Since Google started to comply with a European Union court ruling on individuals’ “right to be forgotten” by the search giant, its received 70,000 request for search result links to be removed.
Along with Jimmy Wales, I think the EU has started sliding down a slipper slope to censorship with this ruling, as it is effectively erases people’s sordid past, but it does bring up an interesting question.
Who Controls Development Data?
Every organization I talk to is doing some form of mobile data collection. Where is all that data going? And who controls it? Could a development constituent ask to have their data removed from the survey data?
Ethically, we should accept a request to remove a person’s data, but how would someone find out who collected their data? And if they did know, would they have the understanding they could ask for it to be removed? Do we, as development actors, even have the systems in place to accept and act on that request?
If these questions concern you, check out M&E Tech, a series of events to explore the role of ICT in monitoring and evaluation, where we will dive deep into the use and ethics of data in development.