We crack the Schufa, the German credit scoring

walter palmetshofer - February 22, 2018 in germany, mydata, OK Germany, personal-data

Last week the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany (OKFDE) and AlgorithmWatch launched the project OpenSCHUFA. Inspired by OKF Finland and the „mydata“ project, OpenSCHUFA is the first„mydata“ project by OKFDE. Over the last 7 days, the campaign generated Germany-wide media attention, and already over 8.000 individual Schufa data request (30.000 personal data requests in total).

Why we started OpenSCHUFA and why you should care about credit scoring

Germany’s leading credit rating bureau, SCHUFA, has immense power over people’s lives. A low SCHUFA score means landlords will refuse to rent you an apartment, banks will reject your credit card application and network providers will say ‘computer says no’ to a new Internet contract. But what if your SCHUFA score is low because there are mistakes in your credit history? Or if the score is calculated by a mathematical model that is biased? The big problem is, we simply don’t know how accurate SCHUFA’s or any other credit scoring data is and how it computes its scores. OpenSCHUFA wants to change this by analyzing thousands of credit records. This is not just happening in Germany, or just with credit scoring, for example the Chinese government has decided to introduce a scoring system by 2020 that assigns a “social value” to all residents. Or think about the Nosedive episode of Black Mirror series. We want to
  • start a discussion on that topic
  • bring more transparency towards (credit) scoring
  • empower people with their own data and show what can be done once this data is donated or crowd-shared

What exactly is SCHUFA?

SCHUFA is Germany’s leading credit rating bureau. It’s a private company similar to Equifax, Experian or TransUnion, some of the major credit reporting agencies operating in the US, UK, Canada or Australia. SCHUFA collects data of your financial history – your unpaid bills, credit cards, loans, fines and court judgments – and uses this information to calculate your SCHUFA score. Companies pay to check your SCHUFA score when you apply for a credit card, a new phone or Internet contract. A rental agent even checks with SCHUFA when you apply to rent an apartment. A low score means you have a high risk of defaulting on payments, so it makes it more difficult, or even impossible, to get credit. A low score can also affect how much interest you pay on a loan.

Why should you care about SCHUFA score or any other credit scores?

SCHUFA holds data on about 70 million people in Germany. That’s nearly everyone in the country aged 18 or older. According to SCHUFA, nearly one in ten of these people living in Germany (around 7 million people) have negative entries in their record. That’s quite a lot. SCHUFA gets its data from approximately 9,000 partners, such as banks and telecommunication companies. SCHUFA doesn’t believe it has a responsibility to check the accuracy of data it receives from its partners. In addition, the algorithm used by SCHUFA to calculate credit scores is protected as a trade secret so no one knows how the algorithm works and whether there are errors or injustices built into the model or the software. So basically, if you are an adult living in Germany, there is a good chance your life is affected by a credit score produced by a multimillion euro private company using an automatic process that they do not have to explain and an algorithm based on data that nobody checks for inaccuracies. And this is not just the case in Germany, but everywhere were credit scores determine everyday life.

How can you help?

Not living in Germany? Money makes the world go round. Please donate some money – 5 EUR, we also do take the GBP or USD –  to enable us to develop a data-donation software (that is open source and re-usable also in your country). Get in touch if you are interested in a similar campaign on the credit bureau in your country: openschufa@okfn.de And now some of the famous German fun, our campaign video:

Finanztransparenz: Informationsfreiheit bleibt ein Problem

Michael Peters - February 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

Auf OffenerHaushalt.de können Bürger die Verwendung von Steuergeldern transparent nachvollziehen. Das Open-Source Projekt ermöglicht der Zivilgesellschaft Haushaltsdaten selbständig zu visualisieren und für öffentliche Rechenschaftslegung zu nutzen. Die Plattform wurden in der ersten Wochen bereits zahlreich genutzt und zwölf weitere kommunale Haushalte wurden hinzugefügt. Insbesondere in Nordrhein-Westfalen ist das Interesse groß. Hier stellen bereits 7 Kommunen ihre Haushalte transparent dar. Mit Bonn, Kiel, Nürnberg und Frankfurt sind auch einige Großstädte mit einem jährlichen Budget über einer Milliarde Euro vertreten. Und sogar die Einnahmen des AStA der Uni Wuppertal wurden visualisiert.

Engagierte Kommunen und motivierte Bürger

Spannend ist wie es die Haushaltsdaten auf unsere Webseite schaffen. Einerseits sind es motivierte Bürger aus der Community, die Daten für Ihre Heimatstadt selbstständig anfragen und visualisieren. Andererseits gibt es proaktive Kommunen, in denen Verwaltungsmitarbeiter die Daten selbstständig visualisieren und mit uns in den Dialog treten. Als größtes Problem erweist sich die Verfügbarkeit der Haushaltsdaten in einem maschinenlesbaren Format. Um einen Haushalt auf unserer Plattform zu visualisieren, benötigt es eine CSV-Datei, welche sich an einige wenige Vorgaben hält. Wenn die Daten allerdings nur in Form einer PDF-Datei veröffentlicht werden, erschwert das die Nutzung enorm. Rechtlich sind Kommunen lediglich dazu verpflichtet, ihre Daten in Form von gedruckten Haushaltsplänen bereitzustellen, welche dann als 1000-seitiges PDF hochgeladen werden.

Informationsfreiheit weiterhin Ländersache

Leider beschränkt sich das proaktive Bereitstellen der Daten auf Kommunen, die als Open-Data-Vorreiter gelten, oder Bundesländer wie Nordrhein-Westfalen. Im Herbst haben wir deswegen für alle Bundesländer, die ihre Haushaltsdaten nicht in offenen Formaten veröffentlichen, eine Informationsfreiheitsanfrage gestellt. Darauf haben wir sehr unterschiedliches Feedback erhalten. In Niedersachsen hat ein Mitarbeiter uns tatkräftig unterstützt und gar das Format der Daten selbst angepasst, während in Thüringen und Bayern die Ausgabe von maschinenlesbaren Daten verweigert wurde. Wir setzen uns mit OffenerHaushalt.de dafür ein, das öffentliche Daten offen genutzt werden können und die Verwendung von Steuergeldern transparent nachvollziehbar ist. Deswegen fordern wir, dass sämtliche Haushaltsdaten maschinenlesbar veröffentlicht werden. An technischen Hürden sollte dies übrigens nicht scheitern, da fast jede Buchhaltungssoftware schon eine Exportfunktion enthält. Über Unterstützung freuen wir uns in Form Spenden, neuen Daten und der Mitarbeit an Webseite und Datenstandard. Mailingliste Twitter

What does the history of global trade look like? The collaborative database RICardo opens up trade data to shed light on this question

Béatrice Dedinger - February 21, 2018 in Digital Humanities, economics, historical data, Open Data, Open Humanities

RICardo (Research on International Commerce) is a project dedicated to trade between nations over a period spanning the beginning of the Industrial Revolution to the eve of the Second World War. It combines a historical trade database covering all of the world’s countries and a website which invites to an exploration of the history of international trade through data visualizations. The project has recently released a web application and accompanying dataset, which is freely available under the Open Database License. In this blogpost, Beatrice Dedinger (economic historian) and Paul Girard (IT engineer) illustrate its’ use cases and background. The new RICardo web tool has been officially released in December 2017, on the occasion of the bicentenary of David Ricardo’s famous work, On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. It is the achievement of an experiment to combine economic history with digital humanities. The RICardo project is devoted to bilateral and total trade of all the world’s countries over a period spanning from the beginning of the 19th century to 1938. Bilateral trade means the distribution of trade of a country by partners, on the export and the import side. Total trade is the sum of all bilateral flows. Notice that RICardo focuses on trade by countries; it does not provide statistics of trade by products and thus, does not allow for the analysis of trade specialization or comparative advantages. We purposefully assembled data from the 19th and early 20th century, as this database never existed as such before. Governments did not start to publish printed documents of official trade statistics before the end of the Napoleonic wars. This is mostly true for the European states but also for other areas in the world that were under European influence. Since the end of the Second World War, the International Monetary Fund is in charge of gathering bilateral trade statistics of all countries; they are now freely available on http://www.imf.org/en/Data. The RICardo database includes around 300.000 data points (December 2017 version) that have been collected by hand from archives found in French or foreign libraries. This is currently the most exhaustive trade database dedicated to historical bilateral trade statistics. Original data (trade flows, names of countries) being in different currencies and languages, they have been converted into a usable format by creating a relational database. The entire RICardo dataset is now freely available under the Open Database License in our versioned data repository described under the Data Package format.

Source: Estadística Comercial de la Republica de Chile (1845)

Source: RICardo_flows database

RICardo is meant for studying and discovering the history of trade and trade globalization. How did countries become economically interdependent? How did the trade volume and variety of exchanges of goods and services develop across nations? Trade databases are needed to address these and similar questions. As an example, economic historians, relying on limited trade datasets, have first demonstrated that a “First” globalization occurred over 1870-1914. When they were afforded with extended trade databases, they challenged this conclusion to now affirm that trade globalization started around the 1840s. But RICardo also allows for the study of neglected areas of the history of trade, largely because of the lack of data. It can help to explore the history of geopolitical trade relationships. If you are interested, for example, in the trade history of Chile over the 19th-mid20th century, RICardo provides you with visualizations and a dataset to describe Chile’s relationships with all its partners over the period of your choice. RICardo offers the opportunity to discover the history of international trade not only through aggregate world trade curves but also by looking at the details of bilateral trade flows: visual exploration is key to handle the complexity of trade data by switching from an aggregate to a detailed level, or from one country to another. To do so, the tool uses  a method developed at Sciences Po médialab called “datascape”. By considering data visualization from the very beginning, the research team can gain creative constraints that help to better design the dataset. Alternatively, data visualizations are a very efficient way to take care of the data, in particular, to check data integrity. This project was very enriching on a personal level in that it taught us to work in a new way. At the beginning, in 2004, the project was launched by a team of researchers at Sciences Po Paris working on financial and trade history and needing historical trade datasets to perform a research idea. It was (still is) usual that each researcher builds by him/herself a trade database for the needs of personal research, ever trying to do better than the other. This way of working points to a competitive state of mind from which we moved away. During more than ten years of work, we have faced a lot of problems that eventually led us to work in a more collaborative, creative, and challenging way. This was the driving force in the achievements of RICardo. That is why we are keen to open our data to everyone, to share the results of our work with the widest audience, to open it to contributions, to foster its usage by the community, and to arouse the curiosity of the public about a subject a priori austere but that we try to address in an enjoyable way.

Open Data Student Award

nikki - February 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

Offene Daten sind eine unabdingbare Folge der Digitalisierung. Darum haben sich die Vereine OpenData.ch und CH Open auf Anregung von Professor Stefan Keller (HSR) entschlossen, einen Studierenden-Preis zu stiften. Dieser Preis steht für herausragende Anwendungen von offenen Daten in Lehre und Weiterbildung. Die Sponsoren sind mit dabei die SBB, die Swisscom, Die Post sowie die Informatik-Firmen IBM (Schweiz) und Netcetera (Bern/Zürich). Auszeichnung
  • Mit dem Award wird eine studentische Arbeit ausgezeichnet, die zuhanden der Gewinner mit einem Preisgeld honoriert wird, zu dem die obengenannten Beteiligten je CHF 200.- beisteuern.
  • Die Auszeichnung erfolgt an einer Opendata.ch-Konferenz, erstmals an der Opendata/2018.
  • Über die Auszeichnung entscheidet eine Jury.
  • Die studentische Arbeit verwendet in beispielhafter Weise Open Data(1) und/oder Open Government Data (OGD).
  • Sie verwendet wo sinnvoll Datenvisualisierung und offene Standards (Dateiformate, Webdienste).
  • Sie steht idealerweise für Open Science was auch Open Source einschliesst und ist reproduzierbar inklusive Rohdaten und Programmskripte.
  • Der/die Verfasser/in der Arbeit erklären sich mit der Eingabe sowie der Veröffentlichung der Arbeit und der Medien (Fotos und Videos) einverstanden.
  • Teilnahmeberechtigt sind alle Studierenden sowie Alumnis einer Schweizer Hochschule.
  • Die Arbeit ist eine offizielle Studienleistung, die im Rahmen einer Hochschule (inkl. Weiterbildung) erfolgreich abgeschlossen wurde und die nicht älter als drei Jahre alt ist (Stand Ausschreibung).
  • Die Arbeit ist auf Deutsch, Französisch oder Englisch geschrieben.
  • Es kann eine Übungs- oder Praktikumsarbeit sein oder eine Semesterarbeit bis zu einer Bachelor- und Masterarbeit. Die Arbeit kann einzeln oder im Team erstellt worden sein.
  • Die Jury besteht aus einem Vertreter/in von Opendata.ch, einem Vertreter/in von CH-Open sowie einem Vertreter/in des Studiengangs Informatik der HSR Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil.
  • Firmen sind nicht in der Jury vertreten, werden jedoch gebührend erwähnt (u.a. mit Logo).
  • Die Mitwirkung in der Jury wird publiziert und nicht gesondert vergütet.
Nominierung und Einreichung
  • Die Nominierung geschieht durch einen Betreuer der Arbeit, eine Lehrperson oder jemand anderes aus dem Umfeld in vorgängiger Absprache mit den Verfassern/Studierenden/Alumnis.
  • Die einreichende Person schreibt in einem Begleitschreiben (Mail) in vier bis fünf eigenen Sätzen, warum die Arbeit preiswürdig ist.
  • Inhalt der Einreichung (nebst Begleitschreiben):
    • Die originale Studienleistung (Format PDF).
    • Eine Kurzbeschreibung der Arbeit (400 Wörter) mit zwei bis drei Abbildungen (Format PDF).
  • Die Einreichung muss jeweils bis spätestens Ende April vollständig und fristgerecht erfolgen per Mail an Professor Stefan Keller, sfkeller@hsr.ch. Über den Preis wird keine Korrespondenz geführt.
Mehr Informationen folgen in Kürze.

Announcing the 2018 International Open Data Day mini-grant winners!

Oscar Montiel - February 20, 2018 in Open Data Day, open data day 2018

Open Data Day is an important date for a broad community that works for a more open world, where information can benefit more people.  To support the efforts made by different groups and organizations on this day, we have developed the  Open Data Day mini-grants, where, along with other organizations interested in having a more open world, we provide funds to events in different parts of the world. This is the fourth year we’ve organized the mini-grants, and with 214 applications, it’s the year with more applications ever, which shows the interest keeps growing. Without further ado, we present the mini-grant supported events for this year and their organizers.
  1. Transparência Hackday Portugal / Open Knowledge Portugal will bring together citizens, government officials and business contributors to local open mapping efforts, by showcasing both official and grassroots projects and promoting the intermingling of all parties involved. Amount: $400
  2. Association 61 with the local MamPrawoWiedziec.pl network will organize a webinar for local activists on how to create maps based on public data to summarize the work of their local governments before the upcoming in Poland elections. Amount: $400
  3. Ger Community Mapping Center, OSM-Colorado. The Ger Community Mapping Center (GCMC) Open Data Day mapathon, in conjunction with OSM-Colorado, works to bridge the broad gap between Mongolia and the United States by engaging the OSM community and student population in Denver, CO with the community mapping non-profit organization GCMC in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, a sister city of Denver. Amount: $200
  4. The YouthMappers Chapter at INES Ruhengeri will create Open Data for the Kangondo slum in Rwanda. Amount: $320
  5. Tanzania Development Trust/Crowd2Map are hosting an event to raise understanding of the benefits of Open Data to local government officials, academics and community organisations from across Tanzania and increase their knowledge and skills in accessing and generating OD including into OpenStreetMap of their communities. Amount: $400
  6. Open Knowledge Finland (OKFI) and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Finland community will seek to increase the awareness of open maps and open mapping, to engage people in mapping activities for global (HOT-OSM) and local (OSM) use and to expand the existing mapping community. Amount: $400
  7. School of Data Côte d’Ivoire’s event has the goal of showing how to visualize geographical data published in Côte d’Ivoire EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) report. Amount: $400
  8. Namibia Open Data & Namibia University of Science & Technology. The goal of their open data day is create awareness on the importance of open data, and encourage to participants to co-create solutions through a hackathon that aims to leverage on technology to combat road accidents in Namibia. They expect participants to develop applications that map, where most road accidents happen and solutions that keep drivers focused on the road. Amount: $400
  9. Code for DC in the United States will engage volunteers with open data mapping projects through the re-launch of their Campaign Finance project and the promotion of other open data sets. Amount: $400
  10. UNDP Uganda sees to increase the awareness of use of open data for development planning and disaster risk assessment. Amount: $400
  11. YEKA Street MGA in Nicaragua will complete the project of categorization and inventory of houses with vernacular construction systems in the northern area of the country, with the help of the “Asociacion Mujeres Constructoras de Condega”. Amount: $350
  1. Open Switch Africa will work to encourage Open Educational Resources adoption and Open Research Data in the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Amount: $400
  2. EvidenceBase are going to structure, publish, and explore the previously unanalyzed subset of PubMed Central journal comments evaluating clinical trials. Amount: $400
  3. Institute for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development, Inc. Their proposed Open Data Day aims to pioneer a discussion amongst research and academic institutions in the Philippines, working on a bigger goal of bridging gaps between education and resources especially felt by minor and sector-representative institutions and research organizations in accessing quality information. Amount: $400
  4. Datos El Salvador will open as much data as possible from academic research, students and teachers to build the first ever open data deposit of research in El Salvador. They will eventually publish this data in their portal. Amount: $400
  5. Datalat’s main goal is to bring the open data community together and create links with other communities interested in open science and open mapping, especially academics and students. This will be a key activity to engage people for the 1st OpenCon Ecuador coming in July.  Amount: $400
  6. Epicentro Inefable AC (Mexico) will bring open data information to the university community. Its use and applications to foster the use of open data in research and development, based on the 2030 Agenda. Amount: $400
  7. Early Career Researchers from Mwanza, Tanzania will create awareness about Health Data Research in the Mwanza community. Amount: $400
  8. Open Access Nepal will  conduct an Open Science and Open Research Data training for PhD students in collaboration with Nepal Health Research Council. Amount: $400
  9. Open Knowledge Ethiopia defined the main goal of their event to promoting open research data among early career researchers and open data advocates in Ethiopia. Amount: $400
  10. ODI Madrid will develop training activities about open data applied to scientific resources involved in the whole scientific life cycle: papers, reviews, data, etc (Spain). Amount: $400
  1. InspireIT is organizing an event in Nigeria to empower young girls to make informed decisions about their sexual health and well being. Amount: $300
  2. Women Economic and Leadership Transformation Initiative (WELTI) in Nigeria seeks to have more young women leverage on technology to make their businesses thrive.  Amount: $400
  3. OKLab Cologne / hack.institute will organize an OpenData Barcamp and a Hackathon and Kids Coding Track with the topics “Mobility, Air Quality and Voice-Bot’s” in Germany. Amount: $400
  4. Vivirenlafinca Foundation Colombia seeks to sensitize, disseminate and improve the relationships between the rural and urban habitats. Amount: $400
  5. Datos.PH will organize an event to dive into open research data to help design local development policy interventions across sex (male and female) and age groups. Amount: $400
  6. Artigo 19 seeks to Improve the quality and quantity of Open Data related to femicides in Brazil. Amount: $400
  7. Open Education Italia will find and reuse data to describe and to promote the gender balance in cultural and educational local policies in Italy. Amount: $400
  1. iWatch Africa in Ghana seeks to create awareness and train student journalist on the use of data journalism tools and new media to track government budget. Amount: $400
  2. Iniciativa Social para la Democracia in El Salvador will organize an event to present the Diagnosis of transparency in procurement of the Salvadorian State. Amount: $400
  3. Girolabs will show the uses of the Open Contracting Data Standard implemented in Paraguay, and two thesis degrees of students about OCDS. Amount: $400
  4. Escueladedatos.org / SocialTic will organize an event to teach people about Open Contracting and Follow the Money by looking at the results of at least 4 projects supported last year in Guatemala and make it relatable for more people to understand the importance, get inspired to act on or to contribute with new projects on these topics. Amount: $300
  5. SocialTIC’s ODD in Mexico City aims, like every year, to increase, diversity, showcase and strengthen the capacities of open data enthusiasts, specialists and newcomers in a fun, didactic and inspiring 200 person event. Amount: $400
  6. Open Knowledge Bangladesh will look into the public money that is used in different government initiatives in Bangladesh. Amount: $370
  7. Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) want to promote the use of open data in tracking audited funds for development projects in Nigerian local communities as a way to foster public accountability and improved service delivery. Amount: $350
  8. EldoHub will organize an event to come up with data driven ideas which will disrupt corruption and ensure transparency and accountability in the use of public funds/resources in Kenya. Amount: $390
  9. OrderPaper NG wants to create a community of empowered grassroots individuals to track implementation of constituency projects in Nigeria. Amount: $400
  10. Transparency International – Initiative Madagascar will organize a conference at the French Institute of Madagascar regarding open data concerning the public finances in Madagascar. Amount: $220
  11. Demos will continue with their event from last year and unify data from different sources in Argentina and Uruguay to tackle floodings in different cities in these countries.  Amount: $400
  12. OpenStreetMap Foundation Colombia seeks to build  tools to fight against learned helplessness in Territorial Management in Colombia. Amount: $400
  13. Transparency International – Cameroon seeks to raise awareness of stakeholders on Open Contracting Data Standard as a mean to reduce corruption in the public contracting sector in Cameroon. Amount: $400
  14. Africa Freedom of Information Centre in Uganda wants to increase public access to and participation in public contracting through application of the portal askyourgov.ug. Amount: $400
  15. Open Development Cambodia (ODC) will organize an event to increase transparency on land investment contracts and related Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in Cambodia, thereby decreasing knowledge gaps between perspective investors, government, and citizens (especially vulnerable groups). Amount: $400
  16. Convoca in Peru wants to motivate the participants to develop initiatives that from analyzing the contracts of the works involved in the Lava Jato case, promote a legal, ethical and economically efficient public procurement in all areas from local to national management. Amount: $400
  17. Open Knowledge Colombia will develop a hackathon, called Hackeando el PAE, focused on following and visualizing public money associated with School Feeding National Program of Colombia through a co-creation process where different social actors will be involved. Amount: $400
Together with all the funders [SPARC, the Open Contracting Program of Hivos, Mapbox] for this years’ ODD mini-grants, Open Knowledge International wants to thank the community for all your applications. We encourage you all you register your event on the ODD website. For those who were not successful on this occasion, we encourage you to participate next time the scheme is available. For the winners, we say congratulations and we look forward to  working with you and sharing your successful event with the community!

2018 Open Data Day in Korea

OKFN - February 20, 2018 in Open Data, Open Data Day, Open Knowledge, 이벤트, 해커톤

2018 Open Data Day in Korea에 초대합니다. 이번 행사는 해커톤과 더불어 공공데이터 사례 소개와 열린 토론회를 함께 진행합니다.
  1. 공공데이터 개방 및 활용에 있어 모범 사례로 평가받고 있는 서울특별시, 제주특별자치도의 실제 사례를 소개합니다.
서울시에서 공개 예정인 생활인구 데이터에 대한 소개와 제주도에서 추진하며 쌓은 경험을 직접 보실 수 있습니다.
  1. 열린 토론회는 지자체, 정부출연연구소, 민간기업을 대표하는 분들이 패널 토의를 하고, 각계 전문가와 행사 참석자가 자유롭게 토론할 수 있는 시간입니다.
4차 산업혁명시대에 데이터에 대한 역할은 무엇인지 함께 고민해 보려 합니다.
  1. 해커톤은 주요 분야 데이터를 조사하고, 데이터의 품질을 평가합니다. 이미 상당한 수의 공공데이터가 개방되고 있지만, 적합한 데이터를 찾는 것은 쉽지 않습니다.
데이터를 찾고 활용해도 개인의 경험에 한정된다는 한계가 있습니다. 데이터 조사와 논의는 오픈데이터 놀이터 (http://discuss.datahub.kr)에서 자유롭게 참여할 수 있습니다. 미리미리 등록해 주세요 ~

Open Data Day 3.3.2018

Oleg - February 17, 2018 in Bern, Genève, International

Samstag, 3. März, ist Internationaler Tag der offenen Daten, und die Community von Opendata.ch trifft sich dieses Jahr im Effinger in Bern (Anmeldung via Link) und bei IFRC in Genf (Anmeldung und Details folgen). Interaktive Displays werden die frischesten offenen Datenprojekte zeigen. Anrufe zu anderen Städten und Ländern werden organisiert, und wir nutzen die Gelegenheit, um Menschen und Daten zu verbinden, und zukünftige Veranstaltungen zu planen. Der Open Data Day ist eine jährliche Feier der offenen Daten in aller Welt. Zum siebten Mal in der Geschichte werden Gruppen aus der ganzen Welt an dem Tag, an dem sie offene Daten in ihren Gemeinden verwenden, lokale Veranstaltungen organisieren. Es ist eine Gelegenheit, die Vorteile offener Daten aufzuzeigen und die Einführung offener Datenpolitiken in Regierung, Wirtschaft und Zivilgesellschaft zu fördern. Alle Ausgänge sind offen zur Nutzung und Wiederverwendung. Mehr erfahren:

GDPR: Λήψη αυτοματοποιημένων αποφάσεων και κατάρτιση προφίλ

Alexandra Ioannou - February 16, 2018 in eu, gdpr, profiling, protection, regulation, Μη κατηγοριοποιημένο

Ο Γενικός Κανονισμός για την Προστασία Δεδομένων (ΓΚΠΣ) θα ισχύσει από τις 25 Μαΐου 2018 αντικαθιστώντας την οδηγία 95/46/ΕΚ για την Προστασία Προσωπικών Δεδομένων. Στα πλαίσια του κανονισμού, εισάγεται ρύθμιση για την κατάρτιση προφίλ και τα δικαιώματα των υποκειμένων έναντι της απολύτως αυτοματοποιημένης λήψης αποφάσεων και τις συνέπειες της.

Board members wanted!

Karin Christiansen - February 15, 2018 in Featured, Open Knowledge International

Open Knowledge International (OKI), the international non-profit dedicated to realising open data’s value to society, is looking for people to join our Board of Directors. Background in brief below and full details here.

We want you!

We are seeking passionate people to join a committed and experienced team, to foster and promote our mission and achieve our goals. We are entrusted with holding the vision of the organisation and supporting the Executive Team to deliver with excellence. Our team provides independent advice, robust governance, and the ability to effectively challenge and support OKI’s ambitions. Our culture is dynamic, collegial, flexible and always open to new ideas. We are looking for up to three people to join our Board of Directors, and are particularly interested in those with expertise and experience in the following areas:
  • Board Level Experience or Experience as an advocate of the open movement, from grassroots to government
  • Finance
  • Advocacy
  • Media relations
  • Commercial
  • Fundraising
  • Research

Where we’re at

This is an exciting and important point in the journey of OKI and the Board. The organisation has been through significant development over recent years and we are now at point of stability, with good systems in place and great staff driving the mission. Taking the original vision of our Founder and President, Rufus Pollock, and the work done to build upon this by Laura James and Pavel Richter, and now under the leadership of Mark Gibbs and Paul Walsh, we are looking firmly to the future. We need a Board that can drive OKI to the next level of impact and inspiration, with a vision to match. We need people who care about open knowledge and can help OKI to push our agenda through the challenges faced in the world. We need steering and guidance, oversight of strategy and delivery, and those who can help ensure our impact as a organisation and our leading role in the open movement.

The mission?

We seem to be threatened with an increasingly closed world in a whole range of ways. Open Knowledge wants to be part of the solution. OKI shows the value of open data for the work of civil society organisations, provides organisations with the tools and skills to effectively use open data, and makes government information systems responsive to civil society. This is important; this matters; this is necessary for making the world a better place. The basics are done here: this is about supporting and challenging the Leadership team in getting the job done while navigating challenges as they arise. In addition to guidance around strategy, providing accountability, developing policy, fundraising and sustainability, etc, the Board will be looking at how we reframe ‘open’ in the current climate and looking at what’s ahead. OKI is a mixed business model, undertaking projects, utilising commercial opportunities and fundraising for core work. OKI is one organisation with a global network of communities, organisations, advocates, government officials and activists. OKI has a broad reach and is looking at how best to help people in particular sectors & domains – especially Civil Society Organisations – to use open knowledge (definitions, data and process, techniques and world views) to have impact in their fields. Questions to be considered include, ‘what is the right business model and strategy to deliver on mission?’, ‘what are the trade-offs in decisions around future focus?’, and ‘how do we support the Leadership to make the best decisions?’ We are looking for people who can help us figure out what approach we should be taking and then to help us do it. Throughout all this we expect Board members to be advocates and ambassadors for OKI, and we strongly welcome people who can aid us in diversity and inclusivity.

No Board experience? No Problem!

While leadership experience of non-profit or SME is essential for the board as a whole, it would be helpful to also include someone with no previous board experience: we want someone invested in the open movement, and have the capacity to support you in learning the ropes as a Board member. If you believe you have insight to offer and value to add to these kinds of discussions, then we warmly encourage you to apply.

Have a little time to spare?

We are asking for roughly 4 to 5 hours per month, which includes attendance at bi-monthly meetings held in London, for 2 years initially.

Meet the Team

Karin Christiansen
Board Chair Karin Christiansen has been Chair of Open Knowledge since September 2013. Karin is currently doing strategy, leadership and operational consultancy work including at the Open Data Institute. Prior to that she was the General Secretary of the Co-operative Party. She was the founder/CEO of Publish What You Fund, the global campaign on the transparency of aid. Before setting up Publish What You Fund, Karin worked as a Policy Manager at ONE and for many years as Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in the Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure. She joined ODI having worked as an Economist at the Rwandan Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture. Prior to that, Karin worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In 2011 Karin was named as one of the Devex London 40 Under 40 International Development Leaders. Jane Silber
Board Member Jane Silber is the former CEO of Canonical. Canonical produces Ubuntu, the leading open source platform for client, server and cloud computing. Before becoming CEO in 2010, she served as Canonical’s COO from the company’s founding. Jane has over 20 years of business development, strategic leadership, operations and software management experience. An experienced Board member, she currently sits on the boards of Canonical, The Sensible Code Company and Haverford College. She holds an MBA degree from Oxford University, an MSc degree in Management of Technology from Vanderbilt University, and a BSc degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Haverford College. Helen Turvey
Board Member Helen Turvey (King) is CEO of the Shuttleworth Foundation. She originally joined the Shuttleworth Foundation to define international relations for the organisation, before moving into her present role where she is responsible for all of the Foundations strategic and operational elements. Helen was educated in Europe, South America and the Middle East. With 15 years worth of experience working with international NGOs and agencies, she is driven by the belief that open technologies, content and processes have vast benefits and value to offer education, economies and communities in both the developed and developing worlds. Dr. Tim Hubbard
Board Member Tim Hubbard is Professor of Bioinformatics and Head of Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College London. He is also Head of Genome Analysis at Genomics England, a company established by the UK government to execute the 100,000 Genome Project, which aims to mainstream the use of whole genome sequence analysis for treatment in the UK National Health Service (NHS). From 1997-2013 he worked at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute where he was one of the organisers of the sequencing of the human genome. In 1999 he co-founded the Ensembl project to analysis, organise and provide access to the human genome and from 2007 led the GENCODE project to annotate the structure of all human genes. He is an advocate of the benefits of open access and open data release for science and society as a whole and has served on multiple national information access advisory boards including Europe PMC (PubMedCentral) the repository for open access publications. He received his BA from Cambridge University (UK), and PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London (UK).


Full details and application process may be found here on our jobs page. Please note that a Board member is a Non-Executive and unpaid position. UK-based applicants are preferred but candidates based within UTC -1 and +4 will also be considered. The closing date for applications is 30th March 2018, to on-board new Board members in time for our June meeting. If you have any questions then do reach out via hr-team@okfn.org. If you believe in our mission, and are working in a CSO or similar sector where you are using open to further your work, come join us – and help us make your work easier. We would love to hear from you!

Open Data Day 2018 is coming: what’s on the map?

Lieke Ploeger - February 15, 2018 in Open Data Day, open data day 2018

Open Data Day is only a few weeks away: on Saturday 3 March 2018 groups from around the world are hosting talks, hackathons, conferences, workshops and other meetups celebrating the benefits open data can bring their communities. The focus this year is on four key themes: open science & open research data, tracking public money flows & open contracting, open mapping and open data for equal development. A total of 156 events has now been added to the map at opendataday.org: in this blog you can find a selection of some of these from across the globe. If your event is not yet on the map, you can add it here!



  • USA: Crisis mapping for Open Data Day: In crisis situations such as earthquakes, hurricanes, avalanches and health epidemics, having up-to-date digital maps can make a huge difference. Sadly many parts of the world are still poorly mapped, hampering relief efforts. Now platforms like OpenStreetMap allow literally anyone with an internet connection to help out. Code for BTV, in conjunction with the UVM Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, is hosting a training event where participants can learn how to make a meaningful contribution to any disaster, world-wide.
  • Colombia: #RallyColombia: The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies, the National Planning Department, the Secretary of Transparency of the Presidency of the Republic and Open Knowledge Colombia join this day to bring citizens closer to the principles and use of open data.
    #RallyColombia seeks to convert the participants into social viewers of public works and agents of change through the use of open data. The #RallyColombia consists of visiting, documenting and reporting on the progress and execution of a large number of public works for sports infrastructure, roads and tertiary roads.


  • Kyrgyzstan: Data Journalism Hackathon: #HackPoverty. How to overcome poverty in Kyrgyzstan and what are its main reasons? What needs to be done to make people in the country better? Is it possible to reduce costs and how to deal with corruption? This event will help find answers to these and other questions using open data.
  • India: Open Data Day celebration in Bhubaneswar: This meetup brings together students, academics, developers, and other professionals to brainstorm how Open Data can be useful in their work and life, and how they can contribute. It includes a Wikidata editathon to grow Wikidata entries related to some of the regional topics, as well as the beginning of a mapping project to study the state of marginalized languages so that technologists, scholars and language archivists across the world can make meaningful contributions to help preserve threatened languages


  • Belgium: Towards Clean Air with Open Data! Open air quality data are a powerful, essential force to help us move towards clean air. Citizens can help measure and map local pollution levels: Open Knowledge Belgium is organising a full-day event including talks and workshops on how to build a sensor and analyse, visualise and interpret open air quality data.
  • Latvia: Dattack: The topic of the Dattack is creative use of data. How can we use open data sources for creative audio-visual expression? Where to look for data, what are the methods used to work with them; what tools can help turning data into visual, sonic and interactive experiences? The participants are going to create real projects for the Staro Riga 2018 light festival taking place in Riga in November 2018.


  • New Zealand: Open Data, Open Potential. This event will promote open data as the future of digital government in New Zealand by launching the Open Data Action Plan, which will outline the implementation of the Open Data Charter. Cabinet approved New Zealand signing up to the international Open Data Charter in 2017, joining 17 other countries, including Australia and the UK. The event will also showcase the innovation that’s currently taking place through the use of open data.
We hope you got inspired to organize your own event on 3 March: to help you prepare, we added a collection of event resources here and an organizer’s guide here. Also, make sure to promote what you are doing on social media through the hashtag #OpenDataDay!