Update to UN data revolution report: “A World that Counts”

UNreport_AWolrdThatCountsUpdate to our blog item “Recommendations submitted to UN data revolution Expert Advisory Group” from October 28th. The final report from the UN Expert Advisory Group, titles “A World that Counts, mobilising the data revolution for sustainable development” was published in November 2014. While the primary focus of the report is on the potential for using rich data sources to improve local and global policy making towards achieving sustainable development, the report also acknowledges that the data revolution comes with a range of new risks.

“Fundamental elements of human rights have to be safeguarded: privacy, respect for minorities or data sovereignty requires us to balance the rights of individuals with the benefits of the collective.”

“Much of the new data is collected passively, from the ‘digital footprints’ people leave behind, from sensor-enabled objects or is inferred via algorithms. The growing gap between the data people actively offer and the amounts of “massive and passive” data being generated and mediated by third parties fuels anxiety among individuals and communities.”

From a CaSMa perspective, this report highlights once more the need for continued efforts to establish and promote the use of responsible and ethical approaches to dealing with human data.

One thought on “Update to UN data revolution report: “A World that Counts””

  1. Internet Society (ISOC) released a new paper “The Internet and Sustainable Development” that explores the relationship between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and sustainable development with a focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This morning Constance Bommelaer spoke about this paper in New York at the U.N. Expert Group meeting on “Advancing a Sustainable Information Society for All”.

    One of the outcomes of the recent ITU WSIS Forum was that there was a clear call to acknowledge the importance of ICTs in implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This paper, which David Souter helped us with, was an answer to that call for action.

    The paper is at:

    A blog post about this at:

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