What do they know about me? Open data on how organisations use personal data

I recently wrote a guest post for the Open Knowledge Foundation’s working group on Personal Data and Privacy Working Group. It delves into the UK register of data controllers – a data source I’ve written about before and which forms the basis of a forthcoming research paper. This time, I’m looking through the data in light of some of the recent controversies we’ve seen in the media including care.data and the construction worker’s blacklist fiasco…

Publishing this information in obscure, unreadable and hidden privacy policies and impact assessments is not enough to achieve meaningful transparency. There’s simply too much of it out there to capture in a piecemeal fashion, in hidden web pages and PDFs. To identify the good and bad things companies do with our personal information, we need more data, in a more detailed, accurate, machine-readable and open format. In the long run, we need to apply the tools of ‘big data’ to drive new services for better privacy management in the public and private sector, as well as for individuals themselves.

You can read the rest here. Thanks to the OKF/ORG for kick-starting such interesting discussions through the mailing list – I’m looking forward to continuing them at the OKF event in Berlin this summer and elsewhere. If you want to participate, do join the working group.