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Invisible people are locked out of the formal economy, unable to vote, travel or access medical and education benefits.Even the way we hold our smartphone can give away early signs of Parkinson's.But what if citizens could harness the power of these data for themselves, to become visible to administrative gatekeepers and access the rights and privileges to which they are entitled? In India, slum dwellers are using smartphone location data to put themselves on city maps for the first time and register for addresses that they can then use to receive mail and register for government IDs. In Tanzania, citizens are using their mobile payment histories to build their credit scores and access more traditional financial services. And in Europe and the United States, Uber drivers are fighting for their ride-share data to advocate for employment benefits.The crucial question, of course, is how to balance the risks of a surveillance state against the power of technology to deliver services and protect fundamental rights.This is absolutely true, and it speaks to the problem of data poverty and the social and economic inequalities that result from a lack of collection or use of data about certain groups of people.
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