GKB: Geodemographics Knowledge Base

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Booth's Life and Labour Survey

In the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘In our Time’,  Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Charles Booth's ambitious project to discover how many people in late Victorian London were living in poverty, and understand why. The Life and Labour of the People in London, published in 17 volumes from 1889 to 1903. Booth (1840-1916), a Liverpudlian shipping line owner, surveyed every household in London to see if it was true, as claimed, that as many as a quarter lived in poverty. He found that it was closer to a third, and that many of these were either children with no means of support or older people no longer well enough to work. He went on to campaign for an old age pension, and broadened the impact of his findings by publishing enhanced Ordnance Survey maps with the streets coloured according to the wealth of those who lived there.

ICO’s Data Analytics Toolkit

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has launched a new data analytics toolkit, designed to help those in data analytics roles understand the data privacy considerations they should be thinking about when working in this area. The toolkit allows users to answer a series of questions to generate a tailored report that highlights key areas to focus on from a data protection perspective based upon the responses.

The toolkit doesn’t necessarily introduce anything new, but it’s a set of common-sense principles and a useful tool to get a sense of the issues that need to be thought through, especially if used in early stages of a new data analytics initiative.

In a statement the ICO said: “The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is urging all organisations considering using data analytics on personal data to look at its new toolkit. It is vital that data protection is built in from the start when using data analytics to process personal data. This is not only the law but it’s a crucial step to gaining public trust and confidence in the technology and how your organisation is using people’s data. The ICO’s new toolkit takes organisations through some of the key data protection points they need to think about from the outset of any project they are planning to undertake involving data analytics and personal data.”

ICO Guidance on AI and data protection

This guidance, developed by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), covers what the ICO think is best practice for data protection-compliant Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as how it interprets data protection law as it applies to AI systems that process personal data.

Artificial Intelligence: Public Perception, Attitude and Trust

An interesting white paper from Bristows law firm to understand the way the UK views AI and robotics to see what the current level of understanding is of the technology. It also explores the privacy and data protection implications of AI. The following are key findings from the survey:

  • Public understanding of AI is “broad” but not “deep”

  • Expectations are high, but certainly not all positive

  • Young people are most optimistic about AI

  • Employment concerns exist, but potential workplace benefits are acknowledged

  • Privacy and data protection implications are not well understood

  • The AI industry should be accountable and responsible to the public

Public Attitudes Towards Online Targeting

Ipsos MORI was commissioned by the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) and Sciencewise to conduct a programme of public engagement research to explore attitudes towards Online Targeting. Findings from the research have been used to inform the CDEI’s Review of Online Targeting and their recommendations to government.

Overall, it was clear from the dialogue and survey research that the public do see significant value in online targeting in both the private and public sector; however, almost all participants advocated that some form of change was required to improve the way in which online targeting currently operates.

Perceived harms of online targeting demonstrated a concern beyond issues of data protection. There was greatest concern that online targeting systems could exploit people's vulnerabilities, erode their autonomy, and amplify inappropriate content.

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