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Making Data Work for the Poor

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, this research by 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.

CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations that works to advance the lives of poor people through financial inclusion. Using action-oriented research, we test, learn and share knowledge intended to help build inclusive and responsible financial systems that move people out of poverty, protect their economic gains and advance broader development goals. We research and experiment to achieve proof of concept and extract lessons that can be built to scale by our partners, who apply our insights in the marketplace.

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