New technologies are not always a good thing. Yes, they often provide life saving and life changing solutions. But sometimes they present great risks and opportunities for humanitarian action. This interesting news came to us from IFEX in their article, “The humanitarian metadata problem – Doing no harm in the digital era.”

To ensure that their use does not result in any harm, humanitarian organizations are developing and implementing appropriate data protection standards, including robust risk assessments. To start such a large project, a good understanding of what these technologies are, what risks are associated with their use, and how to avoid or mitigate them is needed.

A recent joint report by Privacy International and the International Committee of the Red Cross aims to provide people who work in the humanitarian sphere with the knowledge they need to understand the risks involved in the use of certain new technologies. It also addresses the “do no harm” principle and how it applies in a digital environment.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.