Respecting privacy when publishing data from police departments and freedom of information requests


/ March 27, 2015

Alice Brennan, Fidel Martinez and Susan McGregor on dealing with data from the police, lawsuits and freedom of information requests in a way that respects privacy, with examples, at SXSW:

Transforming and linking public records from Miami Gardens reveals public harassment: over half the population had been stopped and frisked.

…Much of the story’s power comes from the concentration and location of stop-and-frisk incidents, but how could these be mapped responsibly?

…Though we wanted to make the set available and searchable as a service, the privacy concerns were too great, especially because we knew the data was falsified by police.

Heatmaps Miami Gardens

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About the contributor

Tom started out writing and editing for newspapers, consultancies and think tanks on topics including politics and corruption in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, then moved into designing and managing election-related projects in countries including Myanmar, Bangladesh, Rwanda and Bolivia. After getting interested in what data and technology could add in those areas and elsewhere, he made a beeline for The Engine Room. Tom is trying to read all of the Internet, but mostly spends his time picking out useful resources and trends for organisations using technology in their work.

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