Framework for consent policies

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When interacting with people, it is important to gain their consent when at all possible. This page gives an overview of a framework for considering what level of consent is needed, what to consider when attempting to gain that consent, what responsibilities accompany consent, and the like. It is to be used for the creation of studies, campaigns, and programs.


Description of a minimum viable product, aspirational output, stretch goals, etc.

Why Consent?

A document for use in persuading people why the consent framework is worthwhile and necessary. In progress here.


Currently in progress. View and comment here.

This checklist is designed to help projects that include an element of data collection to develop appropriate consent policies and practices. The checklist can be especially useful for projects using digital or mobile tools to collect, store or publish data, yet understand the importance of seeking the informed consent of individuals involved (the data subjects). This checklist does not address the additional considerations that would be necessary when obtaining the consent of groups or communities nor on how to approach consent in situations where there is no connection to the data subject.

How to use it:

This checklist is intended for use by project coordinators, and can ground conversations with management and project staff in order to identify risks and mitigation strategies during project design or implementation. It should ideally be used with the input of data subjects. All recommendations in this checklist include suggestions of issues and questions to consider when designing a consent policy and making related decisions, and should therefore be used as a guide to developing project specific consent policies.

Visual Canvas

Inspired by Strategyzer's Business Model Canvas, this vizthink shows the components of the framework for consent policies proposed by Amnesty and worked on by @willowbl00 @cosgrovedent @taniaishungry @jasmeenpatheja @Ingleton

Connection to previous RDFs

Add links, any useful information


This conversation was definitely influenced by, and framed on, Feminist and Queer Theory. It was delightful. We ran it through an IRC use case, which likely exists typed up somewhere.

RDFbuda consent WB.jpg


Personas, use cases, context

Next steps

  • eR: Add left hand margin columns and make into pretty PDF
  • Write out use cases
  • Test against use cases
  • Training guides that don’t scare people away from the work
  • How to inform data handlers about consent obligations (guidelines? checklist? process suggestions?)
  • Community consent guidelines
  • How to address consent issues when there is no possibility of interaction with the data subject, i.e. data scraping?

Ongoing Questions

  • Do you know of any upcoming projects that we could test drive this on?
  • Have we missed any of the major categories of consent?
  • Are there any projects that you don’t think this applies to?
  • Do you know of any other good consent forms or checklists?


@willowbl00, @cosgrovedent, @taniaishungry, @jasmeenpatheja, @Ingleton

Food for thought

  • concepts, problems
  • questions to ask frequently
  • preventions: what do you actually do in concrete terms to prevent these things from happening
  • reactions: responsible responses for when things go wrong

Resources (we <3 links!)

Feel free to link any and all background material, additional info, useful resources, etc. The more the merrier!

Blog post on outputs from the Ethics of Data conference:

GWOB's Responsible Project Lifecycles PDF

CDA Collective resources: Do No Harm, The Listening Project