Personal Data for Social Benefit and More in this Week's #DataDigest

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Would you give away personal data for social benefit? Read views on this, but also on the potential for open and big data to lie. Also featured is an update on the Reporting Commitment by a group of the largest foundations in the US and the launch of the European Commission's open data portal.

Big Data
Q&A: Can open/big data cast new light on poverty reduction?
UNDP for Europe and Central Asia recently held a data dive, for Open Data Day with the World Bank, KDZ - Centre for Public Administration Research and the Austrian chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation. They looked at some of the ways that open data can help with poverty reduction. It was the first in a series of projects, events, and competitions that will be organised to answer related questions and explore the use of open and big data. In this Q&A Prasanna Lal Das, Lead Program Officer of the World Bank’s Controllers unit discusses the challenges and plans for future data dives on this issue.

Personal Data for Good?
Would you give up your personal data for development?
Referencing last year’s World Economic Forum's Rethinking Personal Data: Strengthening Trust Report this post talks about the increasing willingness of individuals to donate their personal data for the public good. It also discusses the anticipated increase in corporate data being given on a philanthropic basis for social benefit. 

Data and Philanthropy
Notes From The Field: The Reporting Commitment
In this Markets For Good post, Jeannine Corey, Director of Grants Information Management at The Foundation Center gives an update on the Reporting Commitment. The latter was launched by a group of the largest US foundations and aims to develop more timely and accurate reporting on the flow of philanthropic dollars. She talks not only about why it was formed but about progress made and next steps. The Foundation Center has also developed an “eGrant-to-hGrant” conversion process that allows participants to submit their data via an Excel template, which can then be uploaded to the grants list on the Glasspockets.org website.

Open Government Data
EU Commission launches open data portal with 5,855 datasets, hopes it will become a ‘catalyst for change’
The European Commission has launched its Open Data portal that currently offers 5,855 datasets, most of which are sourced from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office. The portal has a SPARQL endpoint to provide linked data, and will feature applications that use this data. Launched as a result of the Open Data Strategy for Europe, it is expected to help contribute 40 billion euros annually to the EU. The EC also plans to work with member states to create a larger data repository.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Open Data
As the number of open data portal increases and countries with little record of openness such as Saudi Arabia develop open data portals, David Eaves looks at the need to examine the politics behind opening up data, and the need to limit open data being spun or manipulated subjectively rather than being used as objectively. According to him the increase in open data will increase debates and quarrels over what, how, and why data are collected for public benefit.