[MyData & Open Data] My Data, Our Data, Their Data

Song, Stephen stephen.song at gmail.com
Fri Mar 15 18:52:29 UTC 2013

Hi Stef,

On 15 March 2013 14:27, stef <s at ctrlc.hu> wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:14:31AM -0300, Song, Stephen wrote:
> > What would be helpful is a framework of some sort for thinking through
> > these issues.  Does such a thing exist?
> i know only of the
> i use the german ccc's hackerethics last rule:
>  "Öffentliche Daten nützen, private Daten schützen."
>  http://www.ccc.de/en/hackerethics
> "utilize public data, protect private data"
> where i usually distinguish public data by
>  1. is it data on individuals with limited power over society (e.g. social
>    well-fare recipients should be private, while the salary of deans and
>    bankers must be public)
>  2. is it funded by public money?
> where the first point trumps the 2nd if weak individuals are affected.
> this is
> nicely condensed by this yochai benkler quote i already dropped earlier:
> > privacy=protection of weak from scrutiny by powerful.
> Transparency=exposure of
> > powerful to scrutiny by weak.

I think this is useful to some degree.  Based on that is it fair to say
that group privacy and individual privacy are different things?  At an
individual level we can argue that every individual should be treated
equally in terms of their right to privacy.  At the group level, we can
argue that some groups must have additional protection because they are
vulnerable.   Or perhaps groups are not the point but aggregation of data

I would add another rule.  Do no harm.  This came home to me after reading
Patrick Meier's excellent analysis of the gun map that was created
following the Newtown massacre.  It is well worth reading.


As an answer to some of the issues he raises, I find Danah Boyd's
perspective on privacy compelling (
http://www.danah.org/papers/talks/2010/WWW2010.html).  Her key arguments

1) Security Through Obscurity Is a Reasonable Strategy
2) Not All Publicly Accessible Data is Meant to be Publicized
3) People Who Share PII Aren’t Rejecting Privacy
4) Aggregating and Distributing Data Out of Context is a Privacy Violation
5) Privacy is Not Access Control

...perhaps there is some scope for operationalising some of those ideas
from a policy perspective.

Apologies in advance if my thoughts are not completely coherent.  All the
privacy research I have read in the last couple of months still feels like
a jumble of jigsaw pieces.

Regards... Steve

> the second rule comes mostly from the "public administrations" section of
> the
> free culture forum: http://fcforum.net/charter_extended
> i'm sure there are much better distinctions, but for me this is simple
> enough
> to decide most of the time.
> cheers,s
> --
> pgp: https://www.ctrlc.hu/~stef/stef.gpg
> pgp fp: FD52 DABD 5224 7F9C 63C6  3C12 FC97 D29F CA05 57EF
> otr fp: https://www.ctrlc.hu/~stef/otr.txt

Steve Song
+1 902 529 0046
+27 83 482 2088 (SMS only)
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