Mind the Five

Protecting the privacy of vulnerable populations in humanitarian contexts

Project with Bryce C Newell (U of Kentucky) and Ricardo Gomez (UW iSchool)

Humanitarian organizations often focus on helping migrants. However, it is easy to overlook the additional vulnerabilities and unintended risks that the careless collection, storage, and use of personal  information about migrants can cause. The use of information and communication technologies also involves data- and privacy-related risks, as electronic data can be subject to security breakages, leaks, hacks, inadvertent disclosure, and disclosure through legal processes (e.g., subpoenas, court orders). The inadvertent or malicious exposure of personal data can significantly exacerbate the risks for vulnerable populations. In the case of undocumented migrants, disclosure of sensitive information and documents may expose them to detention, deportation, or violence.

We recommend FIVE PRACTICES to protect privacy of vulnerable populations in humanitarian contexts:


Downloadable products to use the Mind the Five guidelines:

Mind the Five letter-size flyer   (8.5×11)

Mind the Five poster   (11×17)

Mind the Five foldable leaflet   (folds to business card size, 3.5×2)

Mind the Five card game   (print on card stock or Avery 5390 name tags for playing)