Characterizing Disinformation Risk to Open Data in the Post-Truth Era

Paper by Adrienne Colborne and Michael Smit: “Curated, labeled, high-quality data is a valuable commodity for tasks such as business analytics and machine learning. Open data is a common source of such data—for example, retail analytics draws on open demographic data, and weather forecast systems draw on open atmospheric and ocean data. Open data is released openly by governments to achieve various objectives, such as transparency, informing citizen engagement, or supporting private enterprise.

Critical examination of ongoing social changes, including the post-truth phenomenon, suggests the quality, integrity, and authenticity of open data may be at risk. We introduce this risk through various lenses, describe some of the types of risk we expect using a threat model approach, identify approaches to mitigate each risk, and present real-world examples of cases where the risk has already caused harm. As an initial assessment of awareness of this disinformation risk, we compare our analysis to perspectives captured during open data stakeholder consultations in Canada…(More)”.