[MyData & Open Data] Privacy in an open data world

Sam Smith s at msmith.net
Mon Mar 11 13:15:22 UTC 2013

Hi Jason,

I followed the notes pretty closely as I was full of a cold, so didn't diverge as much as I usually do. There's audio on the ODI soundcloud page, and attached to slides here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTBkuYVkgMk

Your approach sounds valid -- obey the law. However, you also rightly identify that there are cases where the law may not entirely cope with a digital world -- there are no theoretical new privacy concerns, but significant new practical concerns. Those are probably areas where civil society needs to have a conversation and possibly look at changing the law given the changing environment.

An example if company director registration, where information is disclosed in return for tax/legal benefits. There are potential privacy conversations there, but those are not specific to open data per se, but about what the appropriate trade-offs should be in society. While open data has an impact on that, because decisions may get made with possible being differentiated from likely, it's not primarily an open data issue. In a non-open world, it's possible to sweep issues under the carpet and hope no one notices; open data requires a transparent carpet.

Privacy arguments can be made on many issues; there's an open question as to whether they are substantively valid given other processes. If so, maybe the other processes should be fixed too. It depends on the substance of the issue.

 (not sure what hat I'm wearing in this conversation :)

On 11 Mar 2013, at 12:32, "Hare, Jason" <Jason.Hare at raleighnc.gov> wrote:

> It would be great if the talking points for this slide deck were made available.
> From: mydata-open-data-bounces at lists.okfn.org [mailto:mydata-open-data-bounces at lists.okfn.org] On Behalf Of Laura James
> Sent: Monday, March 11, 2013 5:53 AM
> To: mydata-open-data at lists.okfn.org
> Subject: [MyData & Open Data] Privacy in an open data world
> Sam Smith spoke at the ODI recently about business considerations for privacy and open data and how not to get caught out.
> It has some great illustrations as to why it's vital to think about privacy and to understand this area *before* publishing data, and how removing names doesn't make datasets anonymous...
> http://www.scribd.com/doc/128356210/Business-considerations-for-privacy-and-open-data-how-not-to-get-caught-out
> Great talk Sam - sorry I couldn't be there!
> Laura
> “E-mail correspondence to and from this address may be subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties by an authorized City or Law Enforcement official.”
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