[MyData & Open Data] Advice on EU Open Data project

Walter van Holst walter.van.holst at xs4all.nl
Sat Jan 3 13:55:38 UTC 2015

On 03/01/2015 14:16, Friedrich Lindenberg wrote:

> To be clear: I didn't mean to argue against deleting PII just because I
> couldn't be bothered to build a better database system - I just
> mentioned this in the interest of honesty, to explain why I had been
> slow to set up a removal mechanism.

Ah, fair enough.

> That's an interesting idea - can you elaborate a bit on how a
> pseudonym-based solution for this might look? 

Giving all actors a random number, but the legal entities they are
aligned with not. For the most part, it is the entities that are the
most interesting.

The drawback of pseudonimisation, that it usually can be broken by
cross-correlating with other data sources, does not as easily come into
play here because that mostly applies to officers of legal entities.
Whose involvement is a matter of public record anyway and who will have
a much harder time explaining why their interest in privacy overrides a
legal obligation for transparency than normal individuals and/or
employees would have.

> Separating these would be easy in a better register, but the current one
> just has very inconsistent information on aspects such as organisational
> budget that could be used to make a cut. Without a crowd-sourcing
> initiative to classify the entries, the default would therefore be to
> remove.

What would be the figure of the number of entries? Also, in which
languages are the source material? This could be an interesting exercise
for several NGOs in the (wider) Brussels space.

> I'm certainly willing to spend time on it, again this comment wasn't
> intended to legitimise inappropriate data hoarding. It just comes down
> to this: if the choice is between retaining a lawyer and shutting down
> the site, I'll have to go for the latter. 

Which would be a pity. Have you considered putting it under an umbrella
entity? Are there existing NGOs willing to take over from you in this
respect? I could ask my fellow board members at Vrijschrift if we could
act as one (we have done it before, with Open Street Maps, before they
got their own foundation).

Stf, who is also on this list, may also have ideas.

> Does this include false information submitted by the person making the
> submission? 

Possibly, yes. Or at least noting that that person has submitted false
information in the past.

> p.s. Loved your talk at Chaos! 

Thank you, reception and impact have been much better than its delivery.



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