The conversation is expanding now. There are 20 women in the WhatsApp group. There are at least 10 on regular Zoom calls. One woman says, “Sharing data is like telling a secret.” She pauses. Then goes on. “So others will want to learn from our data. So we need to be careful who we share our secrets with and how.”

So now we are talking about ethics, the rights and wrongs of using the data.

Data as a secret to share.

There’s more to this metaphor. The science of secrecy and the psychological (and physiological) effects of keeping secrets. Keeping a secret takes its toll. Sharing it also comes with a cost.

Public systems and the charities they support. Can we think of them as harvesters of secrets. (Secrets of the poor. As someone said, “We don’t ask the rich to tell us their secrets.”) Citizens, selling their secretes to the harvesters.

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