BetterNow’s mission is to make the world more generous. And we intend to do that while keeping a high standard for data ethics. For BetterNow data ethics is about responsible and sustainable use of data.
We want to do the right thing for people and society. Our solutions and use of data must be designed, so they first and foremost humans are benefitting individuals. We consider data ethical concerns to be more far-reaching than mere compliance with and adherence to legislation, which is the bare minimum. Our principles that guide data ethics in our software development are:
Individual data control
Equality and non-discrimination
BetterNow uses machine learning for generating personal recommendations for individual fundraisers. We take great care in ensuring that these machine learning processes do not cause harm. We therefore:
Identify potential discriminatory outcomes
Take effective action to prevent and mitigate discrimination and track responses
Are transparent about efforts to identify, prevent and mitigate against discrimination in machine learning systems
The above is how we take our responsibility in making human rights due diligence on our machine learning algorithms, as set out in The Toronto Declaration. Following the above process, we have changed how our machine learning algorithm works, in order to not stigmatise less financially well-off people, by removing the recommendation to increase their self-donation.
Read more about how we came to this conclusion by reading this article on self-donations in P2P fundraising. You can find an easy to read guide on how our machine learning algorithm works, and a post on how we developed the model together with data scientists.