Sean Martin McDonald

Sean Martin McDonald is CEO of FrontlineSMS, founder of Digital Public, a founding member of the Frontline Legal, Capture the Ocean, and Feedback Labs projects, and a former Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab. FrontlineSMS uses the convenience and reach of messaging to improve the reach, efficiency, and value of digital engagement in more than 140 countries. Sean is also an advisor and affiliate with the Clinton Global Initiative, Harvard’s Berkman Center, Digital Democracy, ECPAT USA, TechChange and UNDP.

Posts by Sean Martin McDonald

Toronto, Civic Data, and Trust

A controversial smart city initiative in Canada has proposed using a data trust to help manage how it collects and uses data. But is it enough? Digital Public’s Sean Martin McDonald investigates.

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Data Review Boards: Facebook, Data Governance, and Trusts in Practice

This piece was originally published on Medium. This past weekend, years of advocacy and reporting from Carole Cadwalladr, Paul-Olivier Dehaye, and Max Schrems finally got its due on the front pages of the New York Times, the Guardian, and then, well, everywhere else. Without going into the minutiae, Cambridge Analytica, a voter manipulation firm, harvested the records […]

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Strava, Contracts, and Our Data Stockholm Syndrome

In the last few days, there has been a lot of hand wringing after Strava, a run tracking app, published a global heat map of its users’ exercise paths. As it turns out, in many of the world’s most dangerous locations, the only people using social exercise tracking apps are expatriate military and humanitarian staff, […]

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Bridging the Environmental Data Divide: When Earth Texts Home

A little over a year ago, we set out to do something ambitious. We set out to build environmental sensors that would bridge an under-recognized digital divide: the environmental data divide. Most sensors require Internet signal to report data, as well as fixed power infrastructure. Much of the world doesn’t have either, meaning that we […]

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