Data Ethics Labels are Coming Up
Digital shopper is difficult if you don’t want to have control over your data. This was true even before the introduction of various certifications, labels and stickers to assist us in our search for fair-trade coffee, sustainable lumber, and jeans. However, the law is allowing for legal compliant digital services.
When it comes to choosing digital services that do not abuse data, citizens and businesses remain in the dark. They don’t know what the Chrome browser is and Brave browser. Google and Qwant searches. SurveyMonkey and LimeSurvey. MailChimp, Revue and others. They should not move from Facebook Messenger into Wire, when most of their contacts are already on Messenger. That must be enough.
To map and compare 12 international initiatives, the Swiss Digital Initiative has analysed them all. Each label has the goal to encourage ethical digital services through providing a standard for their evaluation. The label allows people to evaluate the digital service and make informed decisions in an open and transparent market.
SDI states that there are three key challenges to developing an ethical label, compared to a device or food label.
A. The databased flow of data between users, service providers and companies must be considered when designing digital services. The data that an individual collects is intimater and more contextual than, e.g. B. Technological advancements are moving at an accelerated pace. With digital services being updated many times per week, how can labels keep up?
C. On the other hand for digital services, it might be more difficult to identify and assess all those involved as well as the respective responsibility.
The 12 Initiatives
DataEthics.eu values certain characteristics in a label. These include the governance of an initiative, as well as whether independent auditors have been hired to audit it. Green labels are more trustworthy if these two requirements are met. But, as a starting point, any label that is run by an e.g. Green labels, like this one from Denmark, have the potential to boost trust and a tendency. But independent audits may be necessary sooner or later.
A combination of nutrition fact table and bio label, the Swiss Digital Trust Labelit itself will show that digital services meet the requirements of mandatory standards. However, it also gives users greater transparency on four aspects of the service (Data Protection, Security, Reliability, Fair User Management, making transparent, auto-mated decisions-making). Axa (Booking.com), Canton Vaud; Credit Suisse; IBM Switzerland; SBB, Swiss Re, and Swisscom are the eight partners in this project.
This is the complexity of this topic. It’s not clear that any of these initiatives have been successful in implementing a global label for digital services and organisations. SDI provides five tips for success.
A. It must be easily remembered by the target-users. The label’s name/visualization should be easy to recall and convey a part of its quality/ambition. It is important to have a big vision in order to get the label noticed. This takes financial resources as well as the know-how.
C. Labels must communicate a common message. Fairtrade labels give consumers the feeling that their food is better than any other products.
D. It is essential that the governance of labeling bodies be legal. It is essential that the labeling process be clear and easily understood by outsiders. It should be easy to determine if the financial and commercial incentives that have been put in place match the labels’ promises. An audit by a third party is an important step in labeling.
E. Label funding must be transparent for all outsiders. The label’s overall goals are at odds with profit-oriented labels.