Is Making Public Data Available a Threatening Act? (Pete Warden) — Imagine a thought experiment where I downloaded the income, charitable donations, pets and military service information for all 89,000 Boulder residents listed in InfoUSA’s marketing database, and put that information up in a public web page. That’s obviously pretty freaky, but absolutely anyone with $7,000 to spare can grab exactly the same information! That intuitive reaction is very hard to model. Is it because at the moment someone has to make more of an effort to get that information? Do we actually prefer that our information is for sale, rather than free? Or are we just comfortable with a ‘privacy through obscurity’ regime?
Library of Congress to Archive All Tweets — Twitter is handing the archive of all public tweets to the Library of Congress, with a search interface. I like this new slant on national libraries’ roles as repositories of nationally and historically important digital text.