This morning I gave a guest lecture at the Amsterdam University College as part of a course on Big Data mostly (using Rob Kitchin’s book The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences). I talked about open data, open government data more particularly. How it creates impact, the challenges for government in publishing it, and also quite a bit on the pitfalls connected to using open data for some sort of application. I ended on the note that the ethical issues tied to open data usage are also connected to the notion that data is now a prime geopolitical factor. Any choices you make w.r.t. re-using open data will therefore tell the world a lot about who you are, and to which of the geopolitical data propositions you adhere (e.g. surveillance capitalism, data driven statism, data driven enlightenment)

The lecturer I’ve known for a decade or so from open data efforts, and he invited me as well as TU Delft’s Frederika Welle Donker. She and I have been speaking together in various settings before. A combination that worked well again this time I think, my own practice based perspectives in combination with the insights that research provides from approaching in a more rigorous manner the same questions I deal with.

I published the slides and transcript in my new set-up running ‘my own Slideshare‘, and shared the URL at the start of the talk.
This came in handy as this of course was an online event, and convenient and immediate sharing of content makes more sense in such a setting than when doing a talk in the same room as the students.

It has been a while I did such a general introduction about open data. So I spent time yesterday evening and early this morning first rewatching a general talk I gave 8 years ago, and one two years ago, thinking about what are the current developments that are relevant, and current things we are actually working on (e.g. data governance and ethical issues).