Me2B Alliance Recommendation Provides First Steps For Creating Safe and Respectful Technology
Recommendation identifies the key attributes needed to facilitate safe relationships with technology
| Source: Me2B Alliance
SAN DIEGO, Nov. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Me2B Alliance, a non-profit standards organization which advocates for safe and respectful technology, today announced the publication of its first official recommendation: “The Attributes for Safe and Respectful Me2B Commitments.” The recommendation outlines baseline best practices to ensure that safe interactions, or commitments, are taking place on websites and mobile applications. Some examples of these commitments include creating an account online, signing up for newsletters, or agreeing to accept cookies while browsing a website.
The Me2B Alliance is a professional standards organization that follows well established best practices to develop and ratify its recommendations and specifications. The recommendation was developed by the Respectful Tech Spec Working Group and accepted by members of the Me2B Alliance through a multi-step approval process. It marks a significant milestone in the Me2B Alliance’s mission to develop standards that ensure safety and individual agency over technology. The high-level requirements found in the recommendation map to several specific tests in the Me2B Safe Website Specification for Respectful Technology. That detailed specification is currently under review and is expected to receive approval soon.
The lack of transparency in how users’ personal data is collected and shared has far-reaching consequences. Stories about data leaks and scrutiny from legislators over the spread of misinformation online grips the headlines on a near daily basis. Social media giant Facebook, for example, is facing backlash after a whistleblower’s testimony in congress suggested that the company prioritizes profits over the safety of its users by pulling funds away from programs that safeguard against harmful content. On a smaller scale, the governor of Missouri has garnered media attention by threatening to take legal action against a journalist who uncovered that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) was exposing over 100,000 teachers’ Social Security numbers due to a security flaw on its website.
Without standards for building respectful websites and mobile applications, the people who use them face significant safety risks. The Me2B alliance refers to these individual users as Me-s. The businesses, products and services people interact with are referred to as B-s. By publishing its recommendation, “The Attributes for Safe and Respectful Me2B Commitments”, the Me2B alliance hopes to encourage safe and healthy relationships between people (Me-s) and the tech they use every day (B-s).
“As it stands, the connected technology we use every day is harming us as individuals and societies,” said Lisa LeVasseur, executive director at the Me2B Alliance. “We are a standards organization that advocates for Me-s. Our new recommendation gives technology makers – B-s, an opportunity to start building safe and respectful relationships with people by identifying the basic attributes of safe online commitments.”
Some of the notable attributes for safe and respectful Me2B commitments include:
- Providing a clear data processing notice before any user information is collected or processed
- Giving users a chance to provide viable permission before any transaction is carried out
- Minimizing when and how people are uniquely identified in the course of the Me2B relationship
- Minimizing the amount of data collected from users. It must be proportional to the commitment taking place
- Ensuring that any data collected is private by default without any additional action from the users
- Ensuring that users can terminate or change online commitments easily. The changes or terminations should also be recorded, and the record should be provided to the user
The full document, “Recommendation: Attributes of Safe & Respectful Me2B Commitments”, is available for download free of charge on the Me2B Alliance website. Organizations interested in advancing standards in safe and ethical data and mobile and internet practices can visit the website to learn more about Me2B Alliance membership.
About the Me2B Alliance
The Me2B Alliance is a nonprofit fostering the respectful treatment of people by technology. We’re a new type of standards development organization – defining the standard for respectful technology. Scenarios where user data is being abused, even inadvertently – highlight the types of issues we are driven to prevent through independent testing, as well as education, research, policy work, and advocacy.
Montner Tech PR