The LA Times reported today, along with several other sources, that the California Department of Justice has initiated a new “open justice” data initiative. On their portal, the “Justice Dashboard”, you can view Arrest Rates, Deaths in Custody, or Law Enforcement Officers Killed or Assaulted. I chose, for my first visit, to look at Deaths in Custody. At first, I was disappointed with the quality of the data provided. Instead of data, you see some nice graphical displays, mostly univariate but a few with two variables, addressing issues and questions that are probably on many people’s minds.
Somehow almost an entire academic year went by without a blog post, I must have been busy… It’s time to get back in the saddle! (I’m using the classical definition of this idiom here, “doing something you stopped doing for a period of time”, not the urban dictionary definition, “when you are back to doing what you do best”, as I really don’t think writing blog posts are what I do best…)
Another August, another JSM… This time we’re in Boston, in yet another huge and cold conference center. Even on the first (half) day the conference schedule was packed, and I found myself running between sessions to make the most of it all. This post is on the first session I caught, The statistical classroom: student projects utilizing student-generated data, where I listened to the first three talks before heading off to catch the tail end of another session (I’ll talk about that in another post).
The L.A. Times ran an article on data privacy today, which, I think it’s fair to say, puts “Big Data” in approximately the same category as fire. In the right hands, it can do good. But… http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-white-house-big-data-privacy-report-20140501,0,5624003.story
The L.A. Times had a nice editorial on Thursday (Oct 30) encouraging City Hall to make its data available to the public. As you know, fellow Citizens, we’re all in favor of making data public, particularly if the public has already picked up the bill and if no individual’s dignity will be compromised. For me this editorial comes at a time when I’ve been feeling particularly down about the quality of public data.
What do we fear more? Losing data privacy to our government, or to corporate entities? On the one hand, we (still) have oversight over our government. On the other hand, the government is (still) more powerful than most corporate entities, and so perhaps better situated to frighten. In these times of Snowden and the NSA, the L.A. Times ran an interesting story about just what tracking various internet companies perform. And it’s alarming.