Elsewhere online
January 27, 2015

Opinion: Donating Data Could Be New Philanthropic Frontier

Two British researchers speculate on a future in which giving away data on personal habits becomes part as much a part of the philanthropic landscape as donating money, blood, or time, in an article reposted by business-news site Quartz from online academic journal The Conversation.

As an example, University of Nottingham fellows Anya Skatova and James Goulding suggest that data from loyalty cards showing individuals' eating and shopping habits could yield clues on how diet and lifestyle figure in heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues. They say their research indicates about 60 percent of people are willing to contribute data if used to pursue a public benefit.

While some study respondents raised concerns about donated data being lost or misused, many "reported that, in all likelihood, many corporations are already using their data for all sorts of purposes, so why not also use it for the public good?" the researchers write.