Exploring data that's hidden in plain sight

The Open Data movement has gained substantial momentum in the last 3 years with the advent of the Open Government Licence. However, data relating to the public realm but not truly publicly available comes in many forms, we have some types that we want but can’t access though many argue we should (such as land registries pricing), while other data are implicitly available yet ignored as the providers intentionally make it difficult to collect for analysis. We are interested in this “evasive data”, data that has to be publicly available but which those that generate it do not want collected.

One example would be the public opinion data embedded in the odds given on gambling websites – this data is altered in response to bets made and represents a form of the “wisdom of crowds” of interest to political scientists, pollsters and the general public. In previous work, we attempted to predict the outcome of the 2015 General Election by harvesting this data using a mixed crowd-sourcing and page scraping approach to adapt to its changing representations. Other examples of such evasive data include hidden insurance deals deliberately withheld from price comparison websites, council CCTV camera locations and medical trials data.

Who should attend this workshop

We invite researchers to this workshop who seek to understand the techniques needed to identify and collect this data, ways we can apply it and the ethical implications of such collection.

How do I apply?

The application process is outlined here.