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Category Archives: E-Government

US Census Bureau purposely fudges location data in census to protect people’s privacy

Via Kottke – The U.S. Census Is Wrong on Purpose: “…Full census data is only made available 72 years after the census takes place, in accordance with the creatively-named “72 year rule.” Until then, it is only available as aggregated data with individual identifiers removed. Still, if the population of a town is small enough, and census data for that town indicates, for example, that there is just one 90 year old woman and she lives alone, someone could conceivably figure out who that individual is. So the census bureau sometimes moves people around to create noise in the data that makes that sort of identification a little bit harder…”

See also the U.S. Census: “Modern computers and today’s data-rich world have rendered the Census Bureau’s traditional confidentiality protection methods obsolete. Those legacy methods are no match for hackers aiming to piece together the identities of the people and businesses behind published data.  ​ A powerful new disclosure avoidance system (DAS) designed to withstand modern re-identification threats will protect 2020 Census data products (other than the apportionment data; those state-level totals remain unaltered by statistical noise). ​ The 2020 DAS is based on a framework for assessing privacy risk known as differential privacy. It is the only solution that can respond to this threat while maximizing the availability and utility of published census data…”

OMB stands up first online database of all federal programs

Federal News Network: “It took 13 years — with some stops, starts and stumbles in between — but as of today, the federal government now has a single website designed to deliver detailed, searchable information about all federal programs. The Office of Management and Budget flipped the switch Thursday on the new Federal Program Inventory,… Continue Reading

Directory of Police Department Social Media Policies

Brennan Center for Justice – “While many departments have policies addressing the use of social media data, most are too permissive or provide little transparency about actual practices. Surveys and anecdotal reports suggest that the use of social media by state and local law enforcement is widespread, with a number of police departments reporting that they… Continue Reading

American Local Government Elections Database

“The study of urban and local politics in the United States has long been hindered by a lack of centralized sources of election data. We introduce a new dataset of about 78,000 candidates in 57,000 electoral contests that encompasses races for seven distinct local political offices in most medium and large cities and counties in… Continue Reading

CISA Launches #Protect2024 Resources Webpage for State and Local Election Officials

“As part of its unwavering commitment to safeguarding the security and integrity of the nation’s elections infrastructure, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) launched its new #Protect2024 webpage today. Election security remains a paramount concern for CISA, the lead federal agency entrusted with securing the nation’s elections infrastructure. The agency continues to proudly stand… Continue Reading

Understanding the Privacy Practices of Political Campaigns: A Perspective from the 2020 US Election Websites

024 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP) Understanding the Privacy Practices of Political Campaigns: A Perspective from the 2020 US Election Websites Year: 2024, Pages: 91-91, DOI Bookmark: 10.1109/SP54263.2024.00091. Kaushal Kafle, William & Mary, USA ;  Prianka Mandal, William & Mary, USA  ; Kapil Singh, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, USA ; Benjamin Andow,… Continue Reading

FAA Aviation Maps

Kottke: “On Beautiful Public Data, Jon Keegan highlights the extremely information-rich flight maps produced by the Federal Aviation Administration that pilots use to find their way around the skies. Among all of the visual information published by the U.S. government, there may be no product with a higher information density than the Federal Aviation Administration’s… Continue Reading

Police Data Accessibility Project

Data is Plural: “The Police Data Accessibility Project is compiling a meta-dataset of police records: where to find them online, what time period they cover, how often they’re updated, and other characteristics. The searchable, downloadable dataset includes links to 1,700+ resources, such as traffic stop datasets, crime maps, use-of-force reports, contract and policy listings, and… Continue Reading

Climate Risk & Resilience Portal (ClimRR)

“Climate change is increasing the complexity, intensity, and frequency of disasters. Understanding future climate conditions in cities and towns across the United States is necessary to prepare for future climate realities. To address this requirement, ClimRR — the Climate Risk and Resilience Portal — empowers individuals, governments, and organizations to examine simulated future climate conditions… Continue Reading

Scathing DOJ Report on Uvalde Texas School Shooting

“The Justice Department released a report on its critical incident review of the law enforcement response to the tragic school shooting at Robb Elementary School. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced the review shortly after the tragedy on May 24, 2022, in which 19 children and two teachers died at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde,… Continue Reading

Tracking RSV

Via Data is Plural: “The US CDC’s Respiratory Syncytial Virus Hospitalization Surveillance Network collects data on hospital admissions due to lab-confirmed RSV at acute-care facilities in 58 counties, across 12 states. The CDC uses the data to estimate weekly hospitalization rates — overall as well as by age group, race/ethnicity, and sex. Those rates, which… Continue Reading