Join the Civic Tech Innovation Network for a practical discussion on these issues, and a briefing on the POPI Act
Doctors have to follow a rule that before they help others, they must first make sure that they do not harm them. We believe people working in civic tech should adopt a similar approach concerning personal data. Many civic tech projects gather personal data from people. In South Africa, crowdsourcing initiatives like Yowzit, or community monitoring projects like that run by Black Sash collect personal information. Other platforms like Amandla.mobi and Grassroot help people organise campaigns and communicate with each other. In these cases and many others, we need to ask important questions about privacy, and security of data: What information do we collect from our users and partners? What do we use it for? How do we secure it? What is our data retention policy? And finally, how well do we inform the people whose data we have about our answers to these questions?