Data are pieces of the world, and they are people. We have a relationship with data that is, or should be, intimate.
Data have whakapapa.
Tahu Kukutai and friends have just published a free (!) book on the issues for us as Maori: Indigenous Data Sovereignty. Tahu has also been interviewed by Dale Husband on Waatea news, here.
"...if my data been linked up all over the show how do I know that that data is going to be used for my benefit or the benefit of my whanau or iwi. I think without having Maori right at the forefront of those conversations it's not going to benefit us."
Colleague Karaitiana Taiuru (blogging at http://www.taiuru.maori.nz/ ) has worked tirelessly in forging more space - and safer space - for Maori in the digital world. Check out his digital whakapapa thoughts here.
"It is/was common to hide and preserve whakapapa so that outsiders could not make claims to mana and land. Yet Māori in the digital area do not have the same concerns."
I'm always tussling with data: how to store it, who to show it to, what I can do with it at the end of a project. A timely reminder of the importance of proper data control in times of crises (and when are Indigenous peoples not in a crisis?!) has come from Nathaniel A. Raymond and Ziad Al Achkar of the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Harvard.
Nate and Ziad are that data are a central component of humanitarian response. Too often, however, "there is a disconnect between data, decision-making and response." The pressures on decision makers to make informed decisions in the first hours and days of an emergency are extreme,
"and if the elements to effectively gather, manage and analyse data are not in place before a crisis, then the evidence needed to inform response will not be available quickly enough to matter. What's more, a lack of readiness to use data can even cause 'big data disasters'".
There thoughts are available here, also free!