May 26, 2022

MIT Libraries-Berkman Center Collaboration Receives $35,000 Award From UC Berkeley-Microsoft

From MIT Libraries:

An information privacy collaboration between the MIT Libraries Program on Information Science and the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society is one of six projects to receive an award of $35,000 from The Berkeley Center for Law & Technology and Microsoft, culminating in an open government data symposium focused on recent initiatives to release large datasets of government information to the public for analysis and reuse.

This project, co-led by Dr. Micah Altman, Director of Research, MIT Libraries, and Head/Scientist Program on Information Science, and Dr. Urs Gasser, Executive Director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University, will employ 2-3 real-world cases of government data releases to explore and illustrate a range of approaches used by governments, associated challenges and shortcomings, and potential ways in which they might be improved. The project, lasting from mid-October to June, will be presented and discussed by outside experts in the field of open government data at the 19th Annual Berkeley Center for Law & Technology and Microsoft Symposium.

“Much research relies on open data, and researchers are increasingly called upon to make the data they produce open. Where data has the information to reveal information about individuals, privacy has been a barrier to open data sharing. This project will help to develop approaches that enable more data to be made open for research, while protecting individual privacy,” said Dr. Altman, who will present at an invited panel at the BCLT/BTLJ Symposium.

Read the Complete Announcement

A bit more about the project from the Berkeley Law web site:

Towards a More Advanced Model for Privacy-Aware Government Data Releases

This collaboration between the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Program on Information Science at MIT Libraries will explore approaches to preserving privacy and utility in government releases of information. Using an interdisciplinary analytical framework, the team will critically examine real-world models used by governments to make data available to the public, and assess the advantages and disadvantages of alternative risk assessment or disclosure limitation methods for sharing sensitive information. The outcome will include recommendations for designing data releases that are informed by recent advances in data privacy from the fields of computation, statistics, law, and social science.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.