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Social License Lab

Social license can never be self-awarded, it requires that an activity enjoys sufficient trust and legitimacy, and has the consent of those affected.

JOHN MORRISON (Executive Director of The Institute for Human Rights and Business)

Establishing the Social License. Creating the participatory framework to free up data and serve the common good.

To make our vision a reality, we need a new participatory framework. It will find different ways to create the conditions where data is shared and reused. It involves establishing a Social License, to reassure everyone that unlocking data for the common good will be done responsibly, whatever you do and wherever you live.

To achieve this, we must reframe how we manage consent. The current box-ticking system forces us to swing between two extremes. Either we can’t do anything, because the box is left blank, and we don’t have consent. Or we can do whatever we like, because the box has been checked.

If data is to be reused and shared routinely – for purposes beyond those for which consent was given originally – we need to find other ways to build trust between the data givers and receivers. A Social License will achieve this: a framework that legitimizes the principle that when we free up data to benefit wider society, it is a positive and safe process.

What we’re doing about it now

At The Social License Lab, we are exploring different approaches to gaining consent and creating data management guidelines. Once we identify best practices that can be systemized, we’ll lay the foundations for Social Licenses to become a reality in different contexts and countries.

We’re working on this with like-minded groups all over the world. If you’re one of them and are keen to add your experience to creating a Social License, get in touch with us now: info@datatank.org

The Data Tank
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