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There has been a growing amount of focus lately on the use of personal data by charities. A number of organisations here in the UK were censured for breaches of Data Protection laws in the wake of press reporting of wider malpractice in the fundraising industry. Charities are also struggling to get to grips with the implications of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) before they are introduced in May 2018.
These challenges are not specific to charities, however. Across all sectors, organizations and regulatory bodies are struggling to keep pace with the ways in which advances in technology are affecting the scale and nature of personal data and the way in which we understand identity. There has been an explosion in the availability of information as a result of an increasing trend towards organizations adopting an open data approach and a huge rise in the number of online interactions that generate behavioral data.
What would flipping the model of online identity on its head mean for charities and donors? Here are six possibilities:
- Digital identity as a charitable cause
- Fundraising and donor information
- Identifying trustees
- Universal gift aid and other tax relief
- Charities as oracles
- Monetizing personal data for charity
It seems likely, therefore, that we will start to demand a greater degree of control over our own identity and personal information. Whether this will result in the development of fully self-sovereign ID, I don’t know, but however far along the spectrum, we get there are going to be profound implications for charities and their donors.