Safeguarding data Protection in an Open data World (SPOW) (2014-2018)
The European Union’s policy on open data aims at generating value through the re-use of public sector information, such as geographical data. Open data policies should be applied in full compliance with the principles relating to the protection of personal data as safeguarded in the European data protection legal framework. Increased computer power, advancing data mining techniques and the proliferation of publicly available big data extend the scope of the European data protection legal framework to much more (geographic) data than currently assumed and acted upon and could in effect obstruct the implementation of open data policies in the EU. Given the importance of open (geographical) data for smart city concepts, the imbalance between open data and data protection regulations may block the further development and implementation of smart cities.
A balanced co-design of both open data regulations and data protection is needed as arguments relating to potential privacy infringements may raise obstacles to innovation and economic development. On the other hand the uncontrolled availability of public datasets will lead to more profiling, with chilling effects on individual freedom and a reduction in democratic accountability. This research aims to effectively co-design open data and privacy/data protection into a legal construct (a balancing model) that supports the benefits and protects the interests of both, while being able to cope with technological change. Such co-design is core to the development of smart cities and the infrastructures supporting them. This project will apply the requirements for effective co-design of data protection and open data regulations to the smart city domains of transport, energy and eHealth with a view to boosting innovation and strengthening the economy. Project partners:
More information: see the SPOW websiteLocation Privacy in the context of national security and law enforcement (2008-2010)
It is increasingly possible to determine the place and time of the whereabouts of persons using mobile phones and other terminal equipment as part of location based services (LBS). The desire for a safe and secure society has to be balanced with these technological possibilities, which calls for a rethinking of ‘location privacy´. In this research project, the extent of the right to location privacy in relation to the national security needs to know people’s whereabouts will be highlighted in the context of the interpretation and implementation of article 15 EU Directive 2002/58. Through the development of a decision support model, different legal and technological options were presented and compared to balance the needs of location privacy with those of the (national) security sector.
Publications on location privacy
Effects of open data/ re-use assessment project
Assessment of open data effects
There is a worldwide trend towards making information available without cost and limitation in the (value added) use. Not only governments around the world are increasingly adhering to such policies, also private companies have started to do so. These policy changes have led to significant increases in access numbers of these now freely available datasets. These numbers suggest that also the value-adding to these data should have increased. Economic studies have promised major macro-economic advantages if restricted policies were changed into open ones. Similarly, users may be more satisfied with open policies and even the data quality might be improved if the access to these data is promoted through open policies. In a regulated environment, the information provider should also benefit from the added value to users of the information.
The development of indicators evidencing the success of a policy change towards open data both quantitatively and qualitatively has been a major challenge to governments. Academically sound research supporting the claims of economic impact assessments is scant.
Projects on open data effects:
Open data and beyond: Assessing the impact of open energy data
Monitoren van de effecten van Open Data voor Rijkswaterstaat, De (mogelijke) effecten van het NWB en het AHN als open data (2013).Publications on Assessment of open data
Legal interoperability: Harmonisation of licences for geodata
Public sector geographic informantion government organizations apply different license conditions. As a result, it is unclear whether it is okay to combine different datasets and/or services in a new product, licenses are difficult to understand directly and as a consequence datasets and/ or services are not being used, business processes are delayed and the transaction costs (the cost to find a dataset, assess its fitness-for-use, acquire the dataset and to make it fit for use) are much higher than necessary. A transparent application of harmonized use restrictions can shorten the time between a request and use significantly. This holds true especially if harmonization results in computer readable licenses allowing automated transactions. In this project a framework of licences is presented: GeoGedeeld (GeoShared). In 2009, this framework was endorsed by the Dutch GI Council. In 2014, the GI Council decided that the creative commons framework should be the preferred licensing framework for geographic information in the Netherlands.
The Global Legal Interoperability Map of the World (GLIM) provides an overview of open licenses for geographic information.
Related project: European Location Framework
Publications on this topic
Legal aspects of re-use/ open data
This research lays down the legal frameworks that need to take into account when organisations (consider to) implementing open data.
Expert network Legal Aspects of Public Sector Information 2.0
Publications on the legal aspects of re-use/ open data
Sustainable open data business model for the public sector
(Geographic) Information Infrastructure development
The STIG: Stress-Test for the assessment of Infrastructures of Geo-information
To stimulate the Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) development effectively and efficiently, it is key to assess the progress and benefits of the SDI. Currently, several SDI assessment methods exist. However, these are still in an infant stage and none of these appear to meet the requirements of practitioners. As a result, SDI decision makers are still without any guidance on the performance of their SDI. In the financial sector stress testing is commonly used to assess the sustainability and success of the system. With the stresstesing framework of the financial sector as a starting point, this PhD research will develop a stresstet for the assessment of spatial data infrastructures. Researcher: Bujar Nushi
Geographic information infrastructure: Impact access policies
Within information societies, information availability is a key issue affecting society’s well being. The infrastructure underlying the foundation of the information society may be referred to as the information infrastructure. A geographic information infrastructure (GII) supports the information infrastructure with regard to geographic information. A GII facilitates the availability of and access to geographic information for all levels of government, the commercial sector, the non-profit sector, academia and citizens in general. It encompasses the policies, organizational remits, information, technologies, standards, delivery mechanisms and financial and human resources necessary to ensure that those working at the local, national, regional or global scale are not impeded in meeting their objectives (GSDI 1997). Within the context of a GII access-to-government-information policies are important for the availability and successful use of the information, and the success of the GII itself. However, few access policy researches have been executed from the perspective of GII development. This research assesses the impact of information policies on the development of GIIs.
Specific Spatial Data Infrastructure projects
Assessing the status of the Dutch SDI (2008-2011)
NSDI project Macedonia (2010-2011)
NSDI project Romania (2008)
GeoPortal Map of the World (2015-2016). In this project we present the status of national geoportals.
Eurotitle: Land administration throughout Europe
An increase in cross-border transactions of immovable property within the European Union puts a demand for easy access to the information of the national land administrations of the member states. The European Union Land Information Service (EULIS) project brings together the registrations of eight European jurisdictions in one portal. In this way it provides cross-border access to information about the rights on real estate, using the information in the computerized databases of the participating land registries. The EULIS project is the first step towards a more transparent system of real estate transactions. The next logical step, from the viewpoint of international accessibility of the information, is that the national land registries within the united Europe will be harmonized or even integrated in one European land registry or administration. In order to promote cross-border transactions and to facilitate the European mortgage market a new common way of land registration is required, in addition to the existing national land registrations: the EuroTitle system. This is a challenging concept, which may bring the required uniformity of land registration in Europe. This approach is in the beginning stages of development and the legal and organisational consequences need to be further explored and developed in order to assess the feasibility of the introduction of such a concept in European land registry.
Publications on this topic
Master students supervised
Pieter de Graaf (2006). "The relation of digital exchangeable spatial plans with geographic information infrastructure within Dutch municipal organisation", MSc. thesis GIMA.
Anouk van Zijp (2008). "De invloed van organisatie en cultuur op een geo-informatie infrastructuur", MSc. thesis Geomatics.
Niek Goorman (2010). "BAG & BGT: Spatial Key Registers - Compatibility and Municipal Use in Zwolle" , MSc. thesis GIMA.
Erica Black (2010). "Assessing organisational aspects of Sub-national SDI; the case of the Balearis Islands and Catalonia", MSc. thesis GIMA.
Bujar Nushi (2010). "Multi-view SDI assessment of Kosovo Developing a solid base to support SDI strategy development", MSc. thesis GIMA.
Ruud Roskam (2014). 3D Geographical Data Management in Rotterdam; A case-study on the orientations and perspectives of the different levels of 3D geo-data management in the municipality of Rotterdam, MSc. thesis GIMA.
Iris van der Kerk (2015). Data use versus privacy protection in public safety in smart cities; The use of big, open and geographic data for achieving public safety objectives in the Dutch smart city context and the influence of European privacy protection here upon, MSc. thesis GIMA.
Anne Jop de Jong (2015). Geographic data as personal data in four EU Member States, MSc. thesis GIMA.