Grace Annan-Callcott, Press Officer, Projects by IF

Collecting design patterns for teams to make more ethical decisions about data

People designing and building services are in a position of power. IF created and open sourced the Data Permissions Catalogue to help product teams make better, more ethical decisions about data and AI.



Decisions about how governments and companies collect, store and share data are not done by a single individual. Those decisions are made as a team.

And teams often copy design patterns from services they know - one of many reasons long, unwieldy terms of service are one of the main design patterns used to get consent.

So, what are design patterns? Watch IF’s video for a quick explanation of what they are, and why they’re important.


IF created the Data Permissions Catalogue as a tool for teams building digital services, to help them make better, more ethical decisions about a range of data sharing activities.

Each pattern has an illustration, real life examples, and an explanation of the pattern’s strengths and limitations. This allows product teams to make more considered choices in the services they are building.

The catalogue gives teams a practical way to improve  efficiency, consistency and usability of the services they are building, ultimately raising industry-wide standards of permissions and consent.


The catalogue is open source and we welcome contributions.

Who is this for?

  • Product teams

  • Product managers

  • Engineers

  • Product and user experience designers

Pseudo-anonymous data / Category: Share data

Oxfam has been developing a feedback system called Your Word Counts, to understand how programme services for displaced people are performing. Oxfam want to give people a way to prove if they’ve reported a problem. For example, giving someone proof that they’ve told Oxfam they aren’t receiving food, could help them have more control in the process of getting the problem sorted out.

So Oxfam developed a prototype consent receipt that uses the pseudo-anonymous data design pattern. Because the receipt only contains pseudo-anonymous data, if someone lost their receipt it could not be tracked back to them, therefore protecting the identity of a vulnerable person.


IF worked on this project with Oxfam which you can read more about here.