By Data-Smart City Solutions • June 18, 2020

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: POLITICAL GROUPS TRACK PROTESTERS' CELLPHONE DATA

Companies and political groups are tracking cell phones that have been brought to recent protests through geofencing, which virtually tracks individuals within a physical, geographic boundary by using location data from different cell phone apps. Data from these geofenced areas is being used to target protest attendees with things like voter registration messages; usually voter registration drives are in-person, so this data is being used to conduct outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this practice is raising privacy concerns.   

BLOOMBERG: BLOOMBERG PHILANTHROPIES RELEASES COVID-19 MANAGEMENT METRICS FOR CITIES TO SUPPORT NEXT PHASE OF LOCAL PANDEMIC RESPONSE 

A new set of indicators and metrics have been released to help local leaders collect data on pandemic recovery. There are seven key areas for data collection, like local infection rates and preparedness of emergency workers. Additional attention is paid to the needs of vulnerable communities, in order to center equity in the recovery process.  

POPULAR SCIENCE: COLLECTING MISSING DEMOGRAPHIC DATA IS THE FIRST STEP TO FIGHTING RACISM IN HEALTHCARE 

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, unequal healthcare, medical treatment, and health documentation has been a challenge for black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities in the United States; research shows that the lack of “racial health data” has disastrous implications for people of color. There are now increasing calls for public health agencies to collect better demographic data, because government policy and the medical community can’t correct a problem that isn’t shown or acknowledged. 

 

POLITICO: LEGAL AID PUSHES FOR POLICE DISCIPLINE RECORDS TO BE MADE PUBLIC IN ONLINE DATABASE 

Advocates are pushing to have the NYC Open Data portal house newly-public police records around officer discipline and misconduct complaints. The repeal of the law commonly known as 50-a means that these records are no longer confidential, but doesn’t guarantee that they will be published in an online, searchable database. Advocates attest that publishing this information with the other open datasets from the city will save time for requesters, and spare city staff the cost and effort of addressing Freedom of Information requests.