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Are They Making Our Privates Public? – Emerging Risks of Governmental Open Data Initiatives

Abstract : Governments around the world are opening their data vaults to public (and corporate) access and scrutiny. Notable examples including New York City’s NYC Datamine, Philadelphia’s OpenData Philly, Europe’s Open Data Challenge, and Canada’s Open Data Framework, which now spans several cities including Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Ottawa. Anyone can read government plans, budgets, contractor lists, and in many cases, documents relating to individual citizens. The intention behind these data transparency projects is laudable, but it behooves those interested in privacy to take a careful look at just what information our governments are sharing with the world. There have already been “Open Data Hackathons” which have discovered interesting and unforeseen vulnerabilities, often by combining multiple data sources. There are also commercial ventures using government released data in combination with other sources in ways that were never anticipated, such as genealogical research. We are breaking new ground here and we need to generate new principles to protect privacy in the face of data that is going from “public” to “super-public”.
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Thomas Keenan. Are They Making Our Privates Public? – Emerging Risks of Governmental Open Data Initiatives. 7th PrimeLife International Summer School (PRIMELIFE), Sep 2011, Trento, Italy. pp.1-13, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-31668-5_1⟩. ⟨hal-01517598⟩

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