Data Privacy, Big Data in Education, Modernisation of Open Data & Aid Data #DataDigest
Is the use of data for development a conflict resource? Read views on data privacy and possible solutions this wek. There is also interesting insight into new ways of engaging in the open data world, an example of the use of big data tools in education and opinions on the applicability of US International Aid data releases to the African development needs.
In light of Privacy International’s eminent research and advocacy project, titled Aiding Surveillance, which will focus on the role of international development and humanitarian organisations in promoting privacy and data protection, Carly Nyst highlights that not enough sustained effort is placed on addressing open data’s privacy concerns. She also importantly notes that governments choose not only which data gets released, but which does not. In addition, big data relies on data held by both companies and governments, which are usually not shared openly.
In this Open Knowledge Foundation post by Laura James, open data privacy issues are surfaced. Insights into how data can be compartmentalised to address privacy problems are discussed. ‘Our Data’ is described as data that is not personal which has a clear sense of shared ownership. ‘My Data’ is personally identifiable information regardless of who collects it that should not be made open without permission. ‘Transformed Data’ is the third category and refers to information about individuals, which has been anonymised or aggregated to remove individually identified elements. A set of privacy principles for open data is also proposed.
Open Data Applied
In this Sunlight Foundation post Eric Mill gives a new take on open data through reviewing the success of github.com/unitedstates. Some of the principles that helped this initiative to work are outlined. These include collaboration in public, using tools in a standalone, language-agnostic way, using new data in a live product right away and removing the use of brand names to illustrate the common good nature of the project.
Gooru, an open and collaborative online community which aims to provide the best learning material but also enable creation, remixing and sharing of it for personalised learning using open source is discussed in this Forbes post by Jordan Shapiro. The site founded by Prasad Ram, uses the concept of search algorithms to find the best online learning resources, collect metadata and analyze learning habits. It also uses predictive technology to suggest the best future resources, prioritizes educational goals and allows teachers to filter results by subject, grade level, and types of media.
This post follows Degan Ali, Executive Director of Adeso an African humanitarian and development organization as she explores foreignassistance.gov, where USAID, MCC, and the Treasury Department recently released new data. In her attempts to find information on their programming she explains why transparency and accountability is important for enabling local distribution of funds, how too much data and useful data are not the same thing and why information on contracts, grant awards, proposals, and reports is essential. She also notes gaps in the availability of financial transaction data.