Our Privacy and Data Protection Principles

Global Pulse is a United Nations innovation initiative that explores how new, digital data sources and real-time analytics technologies can provide a better understanding of changes in human well-being and emerging vulnerabilities. However, legitimate concerns about privacy and data protection present challenges to harnessing Big Data sets for public benefit.

Global Pulse respects and values individuals’ privacy and protecting it forms the cornerstone of our work.

Our principles acknowledge standards set out in the Guidelines for the Regulation of Computerized Personal Data Files, adopted by General Assembly resolution 45/95 . They are not based on specific national or regional laws, but draw inspiration from a number of global legal instruments dealing with privacy and data protection.


We do not access data containing Personally Identifiable Information on any individual, without a freely given, unambiguous and informed consent

We never access the content of private communications

We never attempt to re-identify de-identified data

We ensure appropriate technical and administrative safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorized disclosure or breach of data

We access, analyze, store, transmit or otherwise use only data that has been lawfully and properly obtained from partners

We design, carry out, report and document our activities accurately, transparently and objectively

We employ even stricter standards of care while conducting research among vulnerable populations and persons at risk, children and young people

We perform due diligence when selecting data or service provider partners and ensure their activities comply with the United Nations’ global mandate

We ensure that our research partners are acting in compliance with relevant law and privacy and data protection standards


These principles are intended to help ensure that individuals whose data is used are not adversely affected by our research. Because of the constantly-evolving nature of data protection and privacy law, Global Pulse expects these principles to evolve based on experience, industry developments and the comments of interested parties. We would like to thank all those who provided their valuable commentary during the development of the above principles, and during our ongoing process of reviewing a more detailed set of guidelines.

We welcome and appreciate your feedback and input in helping us improve the principles. For more information on our work related to data protection and privacy, please contact our privacy officer Mila Romanoff: Romanoff[at]UNGlobalPulse[dot]Org