[MyData & Open Data] Introductions

stef s at ctrlc.hu
Wed Mar 13 19:56:02 UTC 2013


i'm stef, someone who surrenders some of his privacy to participate in
discussions about privacy. i'm also doing benign data-mining into public
representatives but i hope to go deeper to do predictive behavioral analytics.

i'm very happy that we kick of this mydata discussion with privacy as the
first topic. here's two concerns from the top of my head:

mydata is the data i collect about myself. that data also inherently contains
data about other persons, as no database is used in a vacuum, such personal
mydata can also be turned into data on my friends. think pictures on facebook
tagged by your friends, whose data is that?

mydata can also be used for singling-out, a method used by the advertisement
industry, where individuals are identified by a unique set of attributes, not
their names - which of course can be added later upon credit card usage for

it would be interesting to see some kind of cost/benefit analysis of
trade-offs between mydata and privacy on the individual and societal level.
the sense for privacy has been eroding with overwhelming amounts of new
technology, we're not going to reverse that, but maybe we could recommend
something how to do mydata in a private way.


On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 08:31:58AM +0000, Laura James wrote:
> Everyone,
> Thanks for joining this working group! It might be good to introduce
> ourselves and share our particular interests in this area.
> Hello, I'm Laura, I'm with the Open Knowledge Foundation, and I've
> previously worked on internet of things systems and in higher education
> technologies, both of which are fields where privacy and data are both
> important and complex, so I have a long standing interest here.
> A couple of people have asked off-list about what the Open Knowledge
> Foundation is doing in this area. The answer is we're not *doing* anything
> (in that we have no staff working on this in particular) but we feel it's
> an important and complex area which ought to be discussed.  As such we
> thought we should start a working group to provide a forum for discussion,
> and potentially this will lead to ideas for campaigns or projects down the
> line.
> The OKF definition of 'open knowledge' is and has always been that it's not
> personal data. When we advocate for openness of data, we don't mean
> personal data.
> Nonetheless, there are clearly questions about the level of privacy
> afforded individuals by many of the sorts of datasets which organisations
> may wish to open up - such as survey or census data. To understand these
> privacy issues properly, one needs a pretty good understanding of
> anonymisation techniques and how identity can be revealed, intentionally or
> inadvertently. Personally, I'd like to see the open data community have a
> greater understanding of these issues than it's perhaps had to date -
> starting the discussion and gathering useful resources seems helpful here.
> In parallel, we have a sense that to further our aims of empowering people
> through open data, it would be great if individuals were able to choose
> what happens to some of their personal data, including the informed choice
> to open some datasets if they wish. This means that individuals would need
> to have access to data about them and the ability to process it and publish
> it under an Open Definition compliant licence (if they want). This helps
> build up the open data commons with rich and interesting datasets, which is
> great, but it's absolutely critical that it's down to the individual's own
> choice, and that that choice needs to be informed about the potential
> consequences.  The Quantified Self movement is one example where people
> measure information about themselves and in some cases may choose to share
> it; this is straightforward (eg if I weigh myself each day on my bathroom
> scales, that data is mine and I can release it under an open licence, a
> non-open licence or keep the data to myself).  It gets trickier once data
> is gathered by third party services, whether that's an online service
> logging my quantified self data, or the purchases I've made from an online
> shop.
> So, there's two really interesting angles and the OKF would like to be in
> the debate, and to bring our expertise about open to the discussions about
> personal data, and to learn about these areas which intersect ours.
> Cheers,
> Laura
> -- 
> Dr Laura James
> Co-Director
> Open Knowledge Foundation
> http://okfn.org
> *Promoting Open Knowledge in a Digital Age*

---end quoted text---

pgp: https://www.ctrlc.hu/~stef/stef.gpg
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otr fp: https://www.ctrlc.hu/~stef/otr.txt

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