Limitations on mapping private information

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Limitations on mapping private information

Tom Pfeifer
While OSM has a Privacy Policy [1] regarding the data of OSM users, it appears we are lacking a
central reference point about which personal data about individuals are to be mapped within the OSM
database, and which not.

For the purpose, a wiki page has been created [2] which can be discussed here or on the talk page.
The intent is to embed a summary in the Good practice page [3], after consolidation.

[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Privacy_Policy
[2] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Limitations_on_mapping_private_information
[3] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Good_practice

Kind regards
Tom

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Re: Limitations on mapping private information

Mateusz Konieczny-2
On Sat, 10 Feb 2018 00:50:32 +0100
Tom Pfeifer <[hidden email]> wrote:

> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Limitations_on_mapping_private_information

What I miss is some generic "do not map completely private
data".

For example, while mapping amenity=place_of_worship in Europe is OK, I
would expect it to be horrible privacy violation in places where given
religion is persecuted.

There are probably more cases like this and we will never cover all of
them, so some generic rule would be a good idea.


======================

Maybe also mention some opposite cases? For example we map military
areas, also in countries that have laws forbidding doing this.

======================

I am unsure about "do not add the names of inhabitants to dwellings".

I would describe my position as:

In Europe/North America, information who lives at given location is
generally private and confidential. In addition it is not necessary
as we have addresses that are considered public.

But significant part of people across the world have no addresses[1].
These places are generally not currently mapped in OSM, so how to
describe locating schemes used by their residents remains an unsolved
problem.

I expect that at least some of these places use names of residents
instead of addresses (or use names of residents as part of location
description that has function of an address).

So: I worry that by assuming that "who lives here" is always private
information we will cause complications for mappers of less developed
areas.

[1]
https://github.com/google/open-location-code/wiki/Evaluation-of-Location-Encoding-Systems
(note that encoding systems described here are only starting and
traditional location description systems used there are at this moment
used instead. Also, this type of location encoding systems has some
issues described at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/What3words for
one of the worst offenders)

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Re: Limitations on mapping private information

dieterdreist
2018-02-14 14:10 GMT+01:00 Mateusz Konieczny <[hidden email]>:
On Sat, 10 Feb 2018 00:50:32 +0100
Tom Pfeifer <[hidden email]> wrote:

> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Limitations_on_mapping_private_information

What I miss is some generic "do not map completely private
data".



it might not always be clear what "completely private data" is. E.g. if you map the surface properties of private ground, or private swimming pools, these could be private details if you already know who lives there, but it isn't private data as long as you don't know it. And it might be relevant data for others (e.g. to see how much of an area is sealed, or to estimate how much water is "wasted" in swimming pools, etc.).


======================

Maybe also mention some opposite cases? For example we map military
areas, also in countries that have laws forbidding doing this.



has nothing to do with "private data", IMHO

 

======================

I am unsure about "do not add the names of inhabitants to dwellings".

I would describe my position as:

In Europe/North America, information who lives at given location is
generally private and confidential. In addition it is not necessary
as we have addresses that are considered public.

But significant part of people across the world have no addresses[1].
These places are generally not currently mapped in OSM, so how to
describe locating schemes used by their residents remains an unsolved
problem.


likely the solution is not putting all these people with their names in OSM. "do not add the names of inhabitants to dwellings" seems fine to me.
They could use geocordinates, o solutions like what-three-fucks ;-)

Or maybe start inventing/assigning street names and housenumbers, if you just do it without a lot of coordination you might create some ambiguities, but it would probably already solve most of the issue.


Cheers,
Martin

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Re: Limitations on mapping private information

Warin
On 15-Feb-18 12:29 AM, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:
2018-02-14 14:10 GMT+01:00 Mateusz Konieczny <[hidden email]>:
On Sat, 10 Feb 2018 00:50:32 +0100
Tom Pfeifer <[hidden email]> wrote:

> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Limitations_on_mapping_private_information

What I miss is some generic "do not map completely private
data".



it might not always be clear what "completely private data" is. E.g. if you map the surface properties of private ground, or private swimming pools, these could be private details if you already know who lives there, but it isn't private data as long as you don't know it. And it might be relevant data for others (e.g. to see how much of an area is sealed, or to estimate how much water is "wasted" in swimming pools, etc.).

Swimming pools, even private ones, can be used to fight fires. So that information can serve public good.

Private buildings may need a fire fought on them. So that information can serve the private owner.

Some don't want their information mapped in OSM due to the perceived increased risk of threat.

I take the view that if I can see it, asa member of the public, then it is ok to map.

These things need to be judged locally to suit local conditions. .



======================

Maybe also mention some opposite cases? For example we map military
areas, also in countries that have laws forbidding doing this.



has nothing to do with "private data", IMHO

 

======================

I am unsure about "do not add the names of inhabitants to dwellings".

I would describe my position as:

In Europe/North America, information who lives at given location is
generally private and confidential. In addition it is not necessary
as we have addresses that are considered public.

People change their homes from time to time, I think here it is on average every 10 years.
In that circumstance of semiregular changes I don't think it should be mapped.

How does mapping this data help the average map user?
Consider the map lacks basic data in many areas of the world, greater good can be done by mapping this basic missing data.

But significant part of people across the world have no addresses[1].
These places are generally not currently mapped in OSM, so how to
describe locating schemes used by their residents remains an unsolved
problem.

Some places in Australia are known by the names of the home/homestead.
And that name can serve as an address.


likely the solution is not putting all these people with their names in OSM. "do not add the names of inhabitants to dwellings" seems fine to me.
They could use geocordinates, o solutions like what-three-fucks ;-)

Or maybe start inventing/assigning street names and housenumbers, if you just do it without a lot of coordination you might create some ambiguities, but it would probably already solve most of the issue.

Inventing stuff is not what OSM is about.



Cheers,
Martin


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