Updates | 02.02.17

2.2: The Legacy of inBloom; deleting data; close calls

updates and ideas from the D&S community and beyond

Ongoing: Propaganda and Media Manipulation workshop; apply by Feb 15.

Around the Institute
Assessing the Legacy of inBloom
Why Do We Still Talk About inBloom? Why is it important? Today Data & Society is releasing a new report – The Legacy of inBloom – which takes up these questions. Coauthors Monica Bulger, Patrick McCormick, and Mikaela Pitcan engaged in a year-long series of interviews and research to map the story of inBloom and its closure, which ignited a public discussion of student data privacy and has become the legacy any future edtech project will have to contend with.

What they found was a disconnect between Silicon Valley-style agile software development methods and the slower moving, more risk-averse approaches of states and school districts. inBloom itself incorporated conflicting approaches, proceeding now as startup, now as established firm, now as nonprofit. Despite considerable funding and resources, inBloom’s internal inconsistencies contributed to the initiative’s failure to communicate the benefits of its platform and achieve buy-in from key stakeholders.

Our full announcement is here. We’re also expanding the conversation with a set of guest posts reflecting on the report – in our Points publication.

What It Takes To Truly Delete Data
“This overwriting process is a bit like painting a wall: If you start with a white wall and paint it red, there’s no way to erase the red. If you want the red gone or the wall returned to how it was, you either destroy the wall or you paint it over, several times, so that it’s white again.” —Mimi Onuoha

The Public Data Layer
Nick Grossman ponders the importance of and vision for the public data layer: “If we do this right, we can get smarter at policymaking, and design regulatory systems that have both greater effectiveness and lower costs of implementation and compliance.”

The Information War Has Begun
“And now many of the actors most set on undermining institutionalized information intermediaries are in the most powerful office in the land. They are waging war on the media and the media doesn’t know what to do other than to report on it.” —danah boyd

Close Calls
“But for people I’ve spoken to, as long as the instant communication factor remains, nobody really cares who else can see those messages, or where that data lives.” —Zara Rahman

Listen! New D&S podcast episodes
Just added to listen.datasociety.net: An AI Pattern Language: Accounting for Human Factors & Human Frames (Madeleine Clare Elish); and Predictive Policing: Bias In, Bias Out (Kristian Lum).

Around the Around

Click Here to Kill Everyone
“Whether it’s weapons of mass destruction, robots drastically affecting employment, climate change, food safety, or the increasing ubiquity of ever-shrinking drones, understanding the policy means understanding the technology. Our society desperately needs technologists working on the policy. The alternative is bad policy.” —Bruce Schneier


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