[open-data-manual] Privacy guidelines for Open Government Data

Daniel Dietrich daniel.dietrich at okfn.org
Thu Aug 18 09:01:04 UTC 2011

Dear Philip

Good point! I am willing to contribute to a privacy section both in the civic commons and in the open data manual. 

I am afraid there are no easy to use best practices because the topic is complex. All I know are some studies on the case. And sorry to be theoretical, but from an academic perspective it is almost impossible to ensure privacy in open data.

ePSIplatform might publish a report on the issue that might serve as a good introduction. I will share as soon it is out.

All the best

On 18.08.2011, at 03:27, Philip Ashlock wrote:

> Has anyone put together any good guidelines for handling personally identifiable information or other data with privacy concerns within the context of open government data?
> Most open data policies and guidelines I've seen make mention of the need to honor "valid privacy concerns" but tend to do little else than that or defer to existing provisions in law. What I'm looking for are both 1) recommendations from the open data community on the best privacy policies for open government data and 2) more detailed technical guidelines on filtering or anonymizing private information.
> The kinds of examples I'm interested in for policy would be things like the New York State Freedom of Information Law which requires databases and other data models to be designed to allow easy filtering of private information (to segregate the private data).
> The kinds of examples I'm interested in as far as technical guidelines for filtering or anonymizing private data would be things like adjusting applicable crime data location coordinates to the nearest centerpoint of the block (I think Washington D.C. does this).
> I feel like oftentimes constructive discussion of this topic is thwarted by concerns about the mosaic effect, but it seems like those are more often theoretical concerns rather than proven ones. Either way, I'd appreciate it if any coverage of the mosaic effect would include a clear distinction between proven and theoretical concerns.
> I've started to collect references to material like this on a new page of the Civic Commons wiki, but I'm wondering if there's already something out there. Please feel free to chime in with references or suggestions or add them to this page on the wiki:
> http://wiki.civiccommons.org/Privacy_Policy
> Thanks!
> Phil
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