Who we are & What we do
Values Data Group believes in data for good—that the proper use and application of data can become revolutionary forces for democracy, social justice, and economic equity. But those outcomes are far from guaranteed. Data is a tool and work product that is often misused.
We believe that we must move toward a system where the value of data is shared with those who create it, where people shift from being seen as “users” or “customers” to instead becoming rightly understood as “co-creators” of their data and co-collaborators in the solutions data can provide.
Values Data Group works to build understanding, partnerships, and tools that will help ensure that data benefits its creators—everyday people—by establishing a more equitable way to share the value of their data with them.
As a non-profit organization, Values Data Group seeks to learn from, educate, and partner with communities on how to use their data for communal empowerment. We also work with other NGO, government, and private partners seeking new ways to use data for good—whether they are seeking to fight opioid addiction, create greater economic opportunity for single moms, or build more inclusive COVID data.
Data For Good
Our Guiding Principle
All behavioral data and personally identifiable information (PII) is a reflection of actions (i.e. work) a person has done. At its most fundamental level, big data is a massive crowd-sourcing exercise. When an analyst of an algorithm "discovers" something in big behavioral data, all they are doing is recognizing the discoveries and choices that have been made by millions of people already.
As Values Data Group's Director, Eric Sapp, pointed out in his latest piece as an Atlantic Council Fellow, "[We want to] ensure each of us can share in the value of the data we create. Just as we would not frame a conversation about wages or intellectual rights through the lens of privacy, there are better ways to approach the question of ownership and usage of data."
If we shift the conversation around data from privacy to value and consider data more as a measure of labor, there are a number of opportunities to make data work better.