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- Posts: 1
- Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:41 pm
Beyond concerns about anonymity, few have yet questioned the value of retaining and publicly sharing large amounts of data in perpetuity. We generally seem to presume that preserving data is in and of itself desirable. But what might be the unintended consequences of, say, retaining outdated information? Might we wind up creating incentives to use and re-use old, poor, and/or de-contextualized data simply because they are easily accessible in our repositories and the costs of generating and preserving new data so high?
And what of the dignity and privacy of those captured by our data? Perhaps our subjects have fully consented to data use, with or without anonymity guaranteed. Does their signature on a form on April 26, 2016 mean that they can never withdraw--2 years, 5 years, 10 years later? What of those who never actually signed a form--those whose "public" data were collected, for example, from online platforms (where researchers tend to conclude that we can make use of whatever we want as long as the data are not shielded by "privacy settings")? What if any one of these subjects comes to discover that their data are being used in distasteful ways? What if they determine that their data represent episodes or conditions that they find shaming or otherwise harmful? Once data are made public, it becomes exceedingly difficult to adjudicate such matters and effectively impossible to grant one the right to be forgotten.
Of course, none of these concerns are unique to DA-RT. They apply to any shared data. But DA-RT broadens the scale and raises the stakes.
- Posts: 11
- Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:20 pm
Provided they could be found to be asked in the first place, for many interviewees, the answer would be no, they would not consent, years after the fact, to such "data transparency," because they spoke on politically sensitive subjects that could endanger them if not physically than professionally, or stigmatize them in some way. And why would they agree to do so anyway? So a foreign researcher can get a publication? Not a very convincing argument for a benefit as yet to be established by our intellectual community of political scientists. So what happens to all that data we spent years collecting if DA-RT goes forward? A self-serving concern, perhaps, but bound up in the many layers of reflection on what the point and legitimacy of such an approach to data-sharing is in the first place.