Data Privacy Fears Grow, Is Big Data Truth? and The Global Philanthropy Data Charter #DataDigest

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This week data privacy fears abound, some Big Data myths are discussed and a Global Philanthropy Data Charter progresses. Students in San Francisco put big data to great use by mapping crime in San Francisco and a call for more empirical analysis of OGD initiatives goes out.

Data Privacy
Data-Driven Tech Industry Is Shaken by Online Privacy Fears
In the wake of leaked information on the US government’s surveillance programme PRISM, this New York Times post notes Silicon Valley entrepreneurs’ call for more public disclosure. They want to ensure they can provide products and services that have the consumer trust needed for their businesses to succeed. Some say that the idealised global technology ecosystem, which has personal data at its core is at stake.

Big Data
Why Big Data Is Not Truth
In this New York Times post Kate Crawford, a researcher at Microsoft Research, talks about the “Big Data fundamentalism” problem (the idea that the larger data sets the closer we get to objective truth). She explains that inherent human and technological inadequacies arise in using big data, which is not a new phenomenon, isn’t objective and can discriminate. She also says that the ability for big data to make cities smart depends on getting people to use it and reasons that it not anonymous and does not allow for opt out. 

Philanthropy Data
WINGS - Global Philanthropy Data Charter under way
The Worldwide Initiative for Grantmakers Support (WINGS) is engaging its members and partners along with international and regional actors in a global consultation process to produce a Global Philanthropy Data Charter. The goal is to provide a vision for data in philanthropy, along with best practice principles that considers different classification systems, countries’ needs, intellectual property rights and technology capacity. Several meeting have already been held in collabortion with the Foundation Center to discuss the challenges of collecting and analysing data in philanthropy. The charter will be presented for ratification at the WINGSForum 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Open Data Applied
Students Use Big Data To Pinpoint City Block Hit By Crime Every 3 Hours
Some students from the KIPP King High School in San Lorenzo, California have been working with SAP on the HANA for Humanity programme that helps students to work with data from non-profits and/or government agencies and help solve social problems using the SAP HANA in-memory database platform. They analyzed around 1.5 Million crime records from 2003-2012 from data.sfgov.org and overlaid additional data sets (location of liquor stores, presence of graffiti, presence of a police precinct in the neighborhood) to get a more comprehensive picture of the crime situation in San Francisco. This gave some useful and telling revelations about crime and public safety in San Francisco.

Open Government Data
Open Government Data: Towards Empirical Analysis of Open Government Data Initiatives
This OECD paper talks about the main principles, concepts and criteria underlying open government data initiatives. The opportunities and challenges that Open Government Data and data analytics offer are also discussed. It also gives a useful analysis of key concepts and issues to support more empirical analysis of OGD initiatives.