The Privacy/Transparency Balance in Open Government

Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 32)


This paper explores strategies for balancing privacy with transparency in the release of government data and information as part of the growing global open government movement and within an evolving technological context. Government data or information may contain many different types of personal information. In some cases, transparency will require the release of this personal information; in other cases, the release of personal information will not advance the goals of government transparency. The situation is complicated by the availability of technologies that facilitate widespread dissemination of information and that allow for the mixing and mining of information in ways that may permit the reidentification of individuals within anonymized data sets. This paper identifies a number of strategies designed to assist in identifying whether data or information contains personal information, whether it should be released notwithstanding the presence of personal information, and what techniques might be used to minimize any possible adverse privacy impacts.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for the Geothink project of which this research forms a part.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Ottawa, Faculty of LawOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Carleton University, Department of Law and Legal StudiesOttawaCanada

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