After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, why share sensitive data with academics?

While privacy concerns are certainly justified in the wake of recent revelations (after all, the Cambridge Analytica scandal began with misconduct by an academic), now is precisely the time to solve this problem in an effort to restore trust. Social Science One has developed a new organizational structure that protects users’ privacy, insulates the process from individual researchers violating the rules, and empowers independent academics to advance the general good in a way that all may benefit.

If no such structures are developed, both academics and society at large will be hampered in seeking answers to some of society’s most pressing challenges, including, most immediately, the impact that social media has on democracy and elections. Meanwhile, the private sector, which is already hesitant to provide transparency, will continue to face mistrust and suspicion.