Skip to content

GovHack 2016- How might we find ways of unlocking value in data without compromising privacy?

Submitted on Wednesday, 27th July - 7.50.

This is a challenge for GovHack 2016. Entry details on  Hackerspace from 7.00pm Friday 29  July 2016

The Challenge

How might we find ways of unlocking value in data without compromising privacy

The Victorian Government recognises the benefits from enabling public access to government data. But however valuable it may be, not all government data is suitable for release.

For example, government agencies such as Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria (BDM) hold a wealth of data that is extremely valuable, but also extremely private.

This challenge is about finding new ways to unlock some of that value without exposing sensitive personal information.

One way that this might be done is through de-identification - the release of a modified dataset stripped of any identifying information. But de-identification is hard, and always carries a risk that the data can be combined with other public information sources to re-identify the underlying individuals.

 Another approach might be to design a system that lets people explore or visualise the data in such a way that information about individuals can never be accessed. Maybe you can think of other approaches.

 BDM has provided a set of 'dummy data' for you to play with. We want you to come up with innovative new ways for BDM to open up their data to the public without compromising Victorians' privacy.

What are we attempting to achieve?

Developing options to  de identification would enable the unlocking of the value of the data we have and provide meaningful data for analysis, e.g. it would be great to be able to provide various councils with data that provides an overview of the number of babies born to parents living in a particular postcode. This may help inform a strategy around day care centres, or schools etc. It would provide for better planning and ensuring the right resources are located in the right areas.  This could also be achieved with using marriages data or deaths data. We could then proactively package these offerings and go to local councils and provide them with this data

Featured data

Sample births data

Important information

What is Privacy

Challenge owner

Births Deaths and Marriage and  Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection


Join the conversation