Advocating for ethical, responsible, and accessible civic data
What's the need?
Civic data that is created through public funding should be well-known and easily accessible by the public. Realizing this often requires additional effort from data intermediaries.
People appear in public datasets when they perform common activities such as obtaining a license, or making a 311 report. The public should be aware of how their activity is recorded and publicly distributed.
The public interest in open data must be balanced with the protection of privacy
Why the library?
Libraries democratize access to information. This can and should apply to data too.
Libraries protect patron privacy to support broad accessibility to information and freedom of inquiry.
What you can do:
Review how civic data is published in your region with an eye to access. Share what you find with civic data producers and publishers.
Review how civic data is published in your region with an eye to personal privacy. Share what you find with civic data producers and publishers.
Host workshops, speakers, film screenings, and other events that raise awareness of how individuals' personal traces might appear in civic data. Include guidance on protecting personal privacy.