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1. Open Data is information that is collected by our government or companies that is available and can be accessed, reused and redistributed for various purposes. While one open source data set collected from an entity may not reveal the identity of a person, it can be put together with another open source data set could potentially reveal the identity of an individual, known as the “mosaic effect” (Parker & Jain, 2015). For this reason we should be careful in the data that is collected to ensure we follow local, state, and federal legislature regarding personal identifiable information (PII).

Another use for open data is so that our government can use the information to improve government performance. Data provided by the government could help businesses create new services or products. We use open data when we log into our smartphones to check the weather or use the maps to give us directions. These services rely on open data and if the information is correct will reassure our faith that the government is doing a good job. Based on this trust, the government may choose to create more data initiatives. However, if the data does not instill trust with the people, it may lower the value of the types of services being offered to the public (Horrigan & Rainie, 2015).

A useful purpose of open data is to also encourage citizen activity with the government. Things like looking up transit data, restaurant inspection information, home mortgage details, and public health information serve a purpose to inform the community of relevant data (Scassa, 2014). This information is available to the private sector and can be used for purposes other than what it was collected for, such as solicitations. Information could be used to target people with certain backgrounds based off demographic information collected by the government. While open data provides valuable information to the masses, it does raise concerns about privacy.

Horrigan, J. B., & Rainie, L. (2015, April 21). Americans’ Views on Open Government Data. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from

Parker, B. J., & Jain, K. (2015, April). The Challenges of Open Data and Privacy Issues. Retrieved August 29, 2016, from

Scassa, T. (2014). Privacy and Open Government. Future Internet, 6(2), 397-413. doi:10.3390/fi6020397

2)    The U.S. Government has started an initiative to allow government data to be open sourced. “Open source refers to any program whose source code is made available for use or modification as users or other developers see fit” (Rouse, 2016). There is different types of data can be open sourced including software, databases, and hardware.

Software could be something along the lines of a computer programs that can make various jobs more efficient for users. The problem with free open source software (FOSS) is that because it is open for anyone to use it runs the risk of hackers or malicious users creating code for it. (Mohamed, 2015). A specific example is what if a small business owner discovered an open source finance software that could make calculations for his operation easier. The issues with this is that someone could have designed and intricate glitch allowing he/she to access the business owner’s system and steal valuable information.

Databases are similar, there are programs and apps such as Waves which acts as an open source GPS that allows users to make changes to actions such as an accident or construction happening on a particular road. The issue with this is that someone could put out false information or reverse engineer the code to track someone’s movements. An open source data base also has the potential to be hacked allowing access to a system that could garner a hacker more information than what was supposed to be allowed.

Much like open source software open source hardware can lead to privacy issues. These issues are presented by the dangers of having a circuit board or piece of hardware inside of a CPU modified to serve a hacker’s purpose such as creating an easier product to hack over the internet. This could lead to the theft of your private information.


Alcia. (2016, August 25). White house’s Maker to Manufacturer Event. Retrieved from OSHWA:

Asay, M. (2015, April 6). The new struggles facing open source. Retrieved from Info World:

Cobb, M. (2016). Open source software security issues: How to review OSS for security. Retrieved from Computer Weekly:

Mohamed, A. (2015, January). Open Source Software Security. Retrieved from Computer Weekly:

Rouse, M. (n.d.). Open Source . Retrieved from Tech Target:

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