User Guide: Data Integrity
The FrontlineSMS User Guide on Data Integrity is intended for FrontlineSMS users designing, implementing, and monitoring their programs with data integrity concerns in mind. An increasing number of users transmit sensitive information using SMS, which makes questions of data quality and integrity more important than ever. This guide addresses the resulting data integrity considerations of confidentiality, authenticity, availability, and usability of information transmitted using FrontlineSMS.
Drawing directly on the experiences of those who have used FrontlineSMS in vulnerable contexts, this guide provides a data integrity framework which can be used to understand the level of risk inherent in SMS-based activity. Our approach is based on identifying ways to mitigate the risks identified from the perspective of the user, in combination with a focus on the quality and usability of information exchanged through a FrontlineSMS hub. FrontlineSMS does not define the exact details of how users should address issues of data integrity when deploying our software, but instead provides suggested guidelines on how users can reduce and mitigate the risks by taking a responsible and informed approach program design and management.
The Data Integrity Guide Launch Event – “Beyond Mobile Security”
The “M4Data: Beyond Mobile Security” panel discussion, was held on August 9, 2011, at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies, and brought together Sean McDonald of FrontlineSMS, Jon Gosier of metaLayer, Paul Goodman of Development Seed and Internews VP for New Media, Kathleen Reen, who moderated the event.
The panel discussed mobile security centering on the key points of how program design and implementation and context and localization can improve data quality and reduce user risk, and how the role stakeholders play can impact the reliability and integrity of project data.
Listen now to:
- Sean McDonald, FrontlineSMS (17:02 min)
- Jon Gosier, metaLayer (7:06 min)
- Paul Goodman, Development Seed (11 min)
- Panel Q&A, Beyond Mobile Security (42:20 min)
Data Integrity Guide Case Studies
All of the below case studies demonstrate projects in which sensitive information is being transmitted via SMS, making questions of data quality and integrity vital. Each case study looks at data protection, security vulnerabilities and other threats associated with the relevant project, and details the actions taken to reduce risks.
- Plan Benin: Used FrontlineSMS for for reporting incidences of violence in Benin.
- National Democratic Institute: Worked with and trained partner organizations to use FrontlineSMS for election monitoring in Belarus.
- Voix des Kivus: Demonstrates use of FrontlineSMS for crowdseeding in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Small World News: Used FrontlineSMS for election monitoring in a Middle Eastern Nation.
This User Guide on Data Integrity has been produced with generous support from Internews. This User Guide would not have been possible without the time and attention of the mobile for development community and, most importantly, our users. Technical writing was primarily contributed by Kristina Lugo and Carol Waters, with minor contributions from several other authors. Graphic design by Jessica Lo. FrontlineSMS is grateful for the oversight and advice of an advisory group that included staff, community members, partner organizations, and experts in this field.