Identity, anonymity & privacy

Data can have real consequences for real people, and often these consequences are as unintended as they are harmful. This is regularly the case when Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is published, or when seemingly innocuous data is mashed and collated with other datasets. These resources provide strategies and tools for protecting identity, providing anonymity and respecting privacy.

Session on ‘Opening data, protecting privacy’ at the International Open Data Conference

Javier Ruiz’s session at the International Open Data Conference in Ottawa looked at open data privacy principles, risks to be aware of, and strategies to ensure the privacy risks of open data are well managed. The full notes are thorough and well worth reading, but some particular highlights included: an edited version of the Sunlight Foundation’s list […]

This resource can help you with: Getting DataSharing Data
Issue areas: Data re-useIdentity, anonymity & privacy

New research on encryption restrictions that human rights organizations should know about, but often don’t

As we all race to better understand encryption technologies so that we can communicate safely between ourselves and our partners, we don’t often stop to fully understand the restrictions that some countries are placing on these technologies. We often fail to question the implications of these restrictions – from criminalising communications, to the quieting effect […]

This resource can help you with: No categories
Issue areas: Identity, anonymity & privacy

Icons to help you talk about privacy

Icons can help communicate complex ideas around privacy and surveillance in a visual way. There are several resources that you might find helpful: Jessica Klein has created a set of Privacy Icons (or Privicons), free for re-use under a Creative Commons licence. The Noun Project is also a great source of Creative Commons-licensed icons – check out the Surveillance collection, or search for privacy. OpenITP […]

This resource can help you with: Managing data
Issue areas: Identity, anonymity & privacy

DataKind UK’s approach to addressing responsible data issues for the Citizens Advice Bureau project

Datakind UK and Citizens Advice Bureau (a British organisation that gives advice to citizens about their rights) recently collaborated on a project to make better use of the CAB’s data, finding that: Getting the most out of data without compromising confidentiality and privacy is tricky. It presents some genuinely difficult judgments as organisations weigh the risks and benefits, and is […]

This resource can help you with: Managing dataSharing Data
Issue areas: Data re-useIdentity, anonymity & privacyInformed consent

What are the risks when people withdraw data you’ve collected about them?

Amy O’Donnell from RDF partner organisation Oxfam led a session on the Ethical Treatment of Data in New Digital Landscapes at the Oxford Internet Institute in February. Terence Eden blogged about the event here, raising questions including what could happen if a person decides to withdraw their data from a research project: [Withdrawal is] a sensible […]

This resource can help you with: Managing data
Issue areas: Identity, anonymity & privacy

Human Rights Watch: Why the UN Special Rapporteur on privacy matters

Eileen Donahoe of Human Rights Watch on the UN Human Rights Council’s 26 March adoption of a resolution to appoint a special rapporteur (an independent expert) on the right to privacy – and why it’s important: For human rights defenders, [questions of privacy] are urgent because defenders often delve into problems or raise issues that governments would […]

This resource can help you with: Awareness-Raising
Issue areas: Identity, anonymity & privacy

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

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 […]

This resource can help you with: Sharing Data
Issue areas: Identity, anonymity & privacyInformed consent

Beatrice Martini: Emerging questions on the ethics of algorithms

Beatrice Martini on the ‘Ethics of Algorithms’ event in Berlin on 9-10 March: ‘Using data scraped by years worth of crime reports, algorithms can identify areas with high probabilities for certain types of crime and groups likely to commit them. This practice can help the work of law enforcement agencies, but it’s of course also raising concerns about […]

This resource can help you with: Getting Data
Issue areas: Identity, anonymity & privacy