Publications

2016
Vayena E, Gasser U, Wood A, O'Brien D, Altman M. Elements of a New Ethical and Regulatory Framework for Big Data Research. Washington and Lee Law Review [Internet]. 2016;72(3):420-442. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Vast quantities of data about individuals are increasingly being created by services such as mobile apps and online social networks and through methods such as DNA sequencing. These data are quite rich, containing a large number of fine-grained data points related to human biology, characteristics, behaviors, and relationships over time.
elements_of_a_new_ethical_framework_for_big_data_research.pdf
Altman M, Capps C, Prevost R.
Location Confidentiality and Official Surveys
. Social Science Research Network [Internet]. 2016.
In general, the growth of big data sources have changed the threat landscape of privacy and statistics in at least three major ways. First, when surveys were initially founded as the principal source of statistical information, whether one participated in a survey was largely unknown. Now, as government record systems and corporate big data sources are increasingly used that include all or a large portion of a given universe, that privacy protection is eroded. Second, in the past, little outside information was generally available to match with published summaries. Now the ubiquity of auxiliary information enables many more inferences from summary data. Third, in the past, typical privacy attacks relied on linking outside data through well-known public characteristics -- PII or BII. Now, datasets can be linked through behavioral fingerprints. The current state of the practice in privacy lags well behind the state of the art in this area. Most commercial organizations, and most NSOs in other countries continue to rely (at most) on traditional aggregation and suppression methods to protect privacy – with no formal analysis of privacy loss or of the utility of the information gathered. The U.S. Census Bureau, because of its size, institutional capacity, and strong reputation for privacy protection could establish leadership in modernizing privacy practices.
ssrn-id2757737.pdf
Wood A, Airoldi E, Altman M, de Montandre Y, Gasser U, O'Brien D, Vadhan S. Privacy Tools project response to Common Rule Notice of Proposed Rule Making. Comments on Regulation.Gov [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract
  This is a Comment on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Proposed Rule: Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects   We recognize the exciting research opportunities enabled by new data sources and technologies for collecting, analyzing, and sharing data about individuals. With the ability to collect and analyze massive quantities of data related to human characteristics, behaviors, and interactions, researchers are increasingly able to explore phenomena in finer detail and with greater confidence. At the same time, a 2 major challenge for realizing the full potential of these recent advances will be protecting the privacy of human subjects. Approaches to privacy protection in common use in both research and industry contexts often provide limited real­world privacy protection. We believe institutional review boards (IRBs) and investigators require new guidance to inform their selection and implementation of appropriate measures for privacy protection in human subjects research. Therefore, we share many of the same concerns and rec
privacy_tools_project_response_to_common_rule_nprm.pdf
Altman M, Wood A, O'Brien D, Vadhan S, Gasser U. . Berkeley Journal of Technology Law [Internet]. 2016. modernopendataprivacy.pdf
2015
Altman M, McDonald MP.

Written Evidence in Response to "What next on the redrawing of Parliamentary boundaries?"

. [Internet]. 2015. All Written Testimony - Parliament Select CommitteeAbstract
Invited written testimony queries on how to improve public input into the Boundary Commission for England. This testimony summarizes both our research into public participation in electoral delimitations, and our professional experience in conducting boundary delimitation.
17316.pdf
2014
Smith-Yoshimura K, Altman M, Cristán AL, Dawson L, Dunham J, Hickey T, Hook D, Horstmann W, MacEwan A, Schreur P, et al.

Registering Researchers in Authority Files

. Dublin, OH: OCLC; 2014. Publisher's Version
Altman M, Archer P, Borgman C, Brand A, Brase J, Callaghan S, Cass K, Carroll B, Cohen D, deWaard A, et al. Joint Principles for Data Citation. Data Synthesis Task Group; 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Sound, reproducible scholarship rests upon a foundation of robust, accessible data. For this to be so in practice as well as theory, data must be accorded due importance in the practice of scholarship and in the enduring scholarly record. In other words, data should be considered legitimate, citable products of research. Data citation, like the citation of other evidence and sources, is good research practice and is part of the scholarly ecosystem supporting data reuse. In support of this assertion, and to encourage good practice, we offer a set of guiding principles for data within scholarly literature, another dataset, or any other research object.
Altman M, Crosas M. The Evolution of Data Citation: From Principles to Implementation. IASSIST Quarterly. 2014.Abstract
Data citation is rapidly emerging as a key practice in support of data access, sharing, reuse, and of sound and reproducible scholarship. In this article we review the evolution of data citation standards and practices – to which Sue Dodd was an early contributor – and the core principles of data citation that have emerged through a collaborative synthesis. We then discuss an example of the current state of the practice, and identify the remaining implementation challenges.
altmancrosasiassistqforthcoming.pdf
2007
Altman M, King G. A Proposed Standard for the Scholarly Citation of Quantitative Data. DLib Magazine [Internet]. 2007;13:1082–9873. Publisher's VersionAbstract
An essential aspect of science is a community of scholars cooperating and competing in the pursuit of common goals. A critical component of this community is the common language of and the universal standards for scholarly citation, credit attribution, and the location and retrieval of articles and books. We propose a similar universal standard for citing quantitative data that retains the advantages of print citations, adds other components made possible by, and needed due to, the digital form and systematic nature of quantitative data sets, and is consistent with most existing subfield-specific approaches. Although the digital library field includes numerous creative ideas, we limit ourselves to only those elements that appear ready for easy practical use by scientists, journal editors, publishers, librarians, and archivists.