CityLab: Should Libraries Be the Keepers of Their Cities’ Public Data?

CityLab: Should Libraries Be the Keepers of Their Cities’ Public Data?. “In recent years, dozens of U.S. cities have released pools of public data. It’s an effort to improve transparency and drive innovation, and done well, it can succeed at both: Governments, nonprofits, and app developers alike have eagerly gobbled up that data, hoping to improve everything from road conditions to air quality to food delivery. But what often gets lost in the conversation is the idea of how public data should be collected, managed, and disseminated so that it serves everyone—rather than just a few residents—and so that people’s privacy and data rights are protected. That’s where librarians come in.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Former Reed official charged with violating open records law

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Former Reed official charged with violating open records law. “The press secretary for former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has been cited for allegedly violating the Georgia Open Records Act in the first-ever criminal complaint filed in connection with the law, the state attorney general’s office announced Monday.”

Techdirt: Oregon Lawmaker Wants Public Records Requesters To Tell Gov’t Agencies What They Plan To Do With Released Documents

Techdirt: Oregon Lawmaker Wants Public Records Requesters To Tell Gov’t Agencies What They Plan To Do With Released Documents. “As if government agencies needed any new ways to thwart accountability and transparency. Oregon legislators are introducing a host of alterations to the state’s public records law, but one of those looks like nothing more than an easily-abusable tool to be wielded against public records requesters.”

Georgetown Public Policy Review: Rethinking Public Records In The Digital Age

Georgetown Public Policy Review: Rethinking Public Records In The Digital Age. “If an online equivalent of the pre-digital age White Pages existed, would it be available to anyone who wanted to access it? A controversial policy of the D.C. Board of Elections may give us an answer — or, at least, a similar debate.”

BuzzFeed News: Ancestry. com Is In Cahoots With Public Records Agencies, A Group Suspects

BuzzFeed News: Ancestry.com Is In Cahoots With Public Records Agencies, A Group Suspects. “I know that Michael Peck, my great-great-great-grandfather, died on July 14, 1922. I know this because last October I visited the cemetery in Cornwall, New York, to find the date on his headstone. I had been searching for information on Michael for almost a decade on Ancestry.com, but never found any information about his death. Had I waited until a few weeks ago, I could have saved myself the trip upstate. Ancestry finally added the New York State Death Index for 1852–1956 to its collection, and I would have found Michael’s date of death with a few clicks of a mouse. This new archive on Ancestry, however, was added under questionable circumstances, one genealogist claims.”

Freedom of the Press Foundation: California transparency legislation could improve access to police records for journalists and the public

Freedom of the Press Foundation: California transparency legislation could improve access to police records for journalists and the public . “In the 1970s, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that blocked public access to misconduct documents, and forced defendants to petition a judge to examine these records in private and decide if the information warranted disclosure. In 2006, the California Supreme Court ruled that police misconduct investigations are confidential, a ruling that has kept answers from families of people hurt by police violence, obscured critical information about public officials from journalists, and shielded police from scrutiny. Leticia De La Rosa and Theresa Smith are both advocates for a California bill that could make police investigation and disciplinary records available to the public in particularly egregious instances of misconduct.”

Techdirt: California Police Officers Used Self-Destructing Messaging App For Years

Techdirt: California Police Officers Used Self-Destructing Messaging App For Years. “The Long Beach PD had more than 100 officers using TigerText to preemptively destroy possible public records and/or evidence. The use of self-destructing messages, if nothing else, violates record preservation laws. Depending on what disappeared into the ether, there’s a good chance criminal cases were also affected by the rolling destruction of communications.”