EDITORIAL

Obfuscating with transparency

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Science  13 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6385, pp. 133
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat8121

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  • Transparency with correctness
    • Takaaki Matsuo, Student, Keio University, Graduate School of Media and Governance

    Transparency of data is indeed an important subject. Needless to say, the Internet significantly enhanced our access to various information, and became one of the most important platforms for disclosing data. Nevertheless, we should not discuss about "the availability of data in public" alone.The vast amount of accessible data, accumulated over time from around the world, makes it hard for us to determine what is correct or, even worse, what has been tampered. Thus, we need tools or a set of regulations to evaluate and ensure the correctness of the published data, prior to its availability. Even for policy-making, we should never forget to discuss how accurately the data were collected, used and stored.

    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: Empirical Study

    As a good scientist, empirical assessments often expose the minor level of doubt about conclusions based on data collected. Those who would wish to deny the issue of climate change and any other scientific topic tend to look at self-critical empirical assessments as having a weak point whereby conclusions can be impeached. This intellectually corrupt manner of critical review is often difficult to respond to. However, it always remains the higher form of integrity to not be authoritarian in conclusions, leaving open the potential for greater understanding by modifying conclusions based on better information. Painful as it is to suffer, those who use this form to poke holes in the study of climate change will continue to be the cross to bare for empirical and objective scientists.

    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • A tool for automatically removing privacy from human subjects data should be developed

    Jeremy Berg wrote an article entitled obfuscating with transparency (1). Human subjects data has been specially treated as exceptions against the transparency rules. Committees in many universities have been formed for protection of human subjects. Scientists have not been well trained for anonymity, confidentiality, and privacy. Instead of training scientists/forming committees for protection of human subjects, a tool for automatically removing privacy from human subjects data should be developed. Any data including human subjects can be used as open data for research after removing privacy.

    References:
    1. Jeremy Berg, “Obfuscating with transparency,”Science 13 Apr 2018: Vol. 360, Issue 6385, pp. 133

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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