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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Arvind Narayanan, Joanna Huey and Ed Felten have published a paper on the potential for large datasets to be used to identify individuals.
The Online News Association’s Build Your Own Ethics Code project, created by about 20 volunteer writers and editors, is designed to provide raw materials to help news organisations, startups, individual journalists and bloggers create their own ethics codes.