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.
Inspiration:
Resources you can use:
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