[okfn-discuss] Possible open data ethics project

Darwin Peltan darwin.peltan at okfn.org
Wed Aug 21 13:55:07 UTC 2013

Dear all,

Bristol City Council are looking for someone to help with a project looking
at the ethics of open data as part of larger project looking at data
management within the council. A brief summary of what they're looking for
is below.

If you have expertise in this area and would be interested in assisting
please email me in the first instance and I will connect you with the
Bristol team.


Further to our discussion I’m emailing about a piece of work I think we
need to carry out. This would be to define what we might need to put in
place here at Bristol City Council to ensure we can be confident we are
considering the ethical issues that could start to arise as we make more
data and information publicly available.

As I explained, the Intelligent Council Programme has four enabling
workstreams, one of which is Ethics (the others are Governance, Innovation
and Culture/Skills). These together will enable delivery of the core
programme workstreams which at high level focus on Management of
Information, Reporting & Analysis, and Sharing & Exchange.

Whilst we have information governance processes in place, these are
generally more focused on ensuring the legality of what we do, and I have
not encountered a specific corporate approach to ethics. There are some
local processes (notably in Childrens Services) and some general guidelines
on research good practice. There is both an increasing recognition that
maybe we need to look at this, as well as some understandable concerns that
this could be yet another layer of bureaucracy!

I’m starting to think about commissioning a piece of work from someone to
understand how other similar organisations address this (ie Health, Local
Authorities, maybe Central Govt), the benefits they gain, and also the
risks of doing nothing. From this we need some options/recommendations and
an understanding of what this would mean in practice.

*Darwin Peltan*

*Project Manager  |  skype: darwinp  |  twitter:

*The Open Knowledge Foundation <http://okfn.org/>*

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