Ethical Data Use A Basic Human Right?

Data privacy has emerged as a critical concern, Governments are actively pursuing regulations to safeguard the personal data of their citizens, some recognising it as a basic human right.

Updated on:

June 19, 2023

In the fast-paced and interconnected digital world of today, data privacy has emerged as a critical concern, evolving into a global trend. Governments around the world are actively pursuing regulations to safeguard the personal data of their citizens, recognising it as a basic human right.

At Green Arrow Consultancy we believe that GDPR was just the beginning of a global movement towards data privacy rights. Countries like India, Singapore, and Japan have already taken significant steps in this direction, with others following suit. As a result, Green Arrow Consultancy understand that data privacy has become a necessity for any company handling personal data, and compliance with privacy regulations is crucial.

The Power of Trust in the Digital World

Trust plays a pivotal role in the success and longevity of businesses in the digital landscape. Companies that prioritise establishing trust with their customers from the outset are more likely to close deals, drive long-term revenue growth, foster customer loyalty, and ultimately thrive in the ever-changing digital world. Both consumers and companies seek fair treatment when it comes to their data. Building and maintaining trust with personally identifiable information (PII) is a key factor for long-term success and survival. As regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies increasingly enforce data privacy requirements, companies must prioritise effective communication, execution, and collaboration to navigate the complex landscape of data privacy.

Focus on Communication for Effective Data Privacy Management

Effective communication and collaboration are essential for successful data privacy management. CEOs and executives must make the most of their time and engage with their customers. Technical experts should actively interact with customer service representatives, sales teams, inbound call leads, and legal departments. By collaborating and educating technical teams, security teams, advisors, vendors, and clients, companies can establish trust and respect from the beginning of the sales funnel. Knowledge is power, and providing customers with the necessary information about privacy policies, even if they don't explicitly ask for it, builds trust and sets the foundation for a strong relationship. 

Diligence in Data Sourcing and Compliance

Companies must exercise due diligence in the sourcing and compliance of data. The concept of "onward transfer," as defined by Privacy Shield, emphasises the accountability required when personal data received under the Privacy Shield is transferred to third parties acting as controllers or agents. This means that companies are responsible for the data they provide to their clients, even if they did not source it themselves or it is not part of their in-house data. It is imperative to thoroughly vet data sources and ensure their compliance with regulations to avoid any legal liabilities.

The Importance of Accountability, Traceability, and Due Diligence

To safeguard data privacy, organisations must prioritise accountability, traceability, and due diligence throughout the data lifecycle. It is essential to track and document every aspect of privacy compliance, including data sourcing, transfer, storage, and usage. Companies should encourage their leaders to be visionaries who develop comprehensive plans to ensure compliance with upcoming data privacy laws and regulations. Prioritising these aspects of data privacy not only protects the rights of individuals but also fosters trust with customers.

Striking a Balance: Ethics and Regulation

The ongoing debate between ethics and regulation in the tech industry highlights the need for a balanced approach. While companies may develop ethical principles and boards, scepticism arises when these initiatives are perceived as mere reputation management or a strategic tool to avoid regulation. The argument for external regulation stems from the need to minimise negative consequences and protect consumers without burdening them with the responsibility of evaluating complex terms and conditions. However, some businesses resist regulation, citing the rapid pace of technological advancements. Nonetheless, historical precedents demonstrate that political will, rather than technical constraints, often determines the success of regulatory actions. Establishing clear rules and limitations on technologies like facial recognition can prevent potential harm and promote individual rights.

The Potential of Technology for Good

While ethical considerations and regulations focus on curbing the negative impacts of data-driven technologies, it is important to recognise the potential of data science to positively impact society. Responsible use of data and data science can help protect human rights globally. Initiatives like using machine learning and computer vision to identify destroyed villages, employing network analysis to detect potential fraud, or leveraging data to address gaps in primary education demonstrate the potential gains from technology in protecting rights. It is crucial to ensure that the power of data science is not concentrated solely in the hands of corporations and governments but is also accessible to community and civil society organisations.


In the digital era, ethical data use has become a fundamental human right. Governments and regulatory bodies are taking steps to protect individuals' data privacy, recognising the need for accountability, transparency, and trust. Companies must prioritise effective communication, diligence in data sourcing, and compliance with regulations. A rights-based approach, leveraging existing human rights frameworks, provides a solid foundation for addressing the challenges posed by data-driven technologies.

At Green Arrow Consultancy we believe that it is essential to build upon past work, embrace diversity, and strike a balance between ethics and regulation. By doing so, we can harness the potential of data science for good while safeguarding individual and collective rights in the digital age.