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Activity Number: 90 - Late-Breaking Session I: National Governments, Coerced Narratives, Creative Language, and Alternative Facts
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Monday, July 31, 2017 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: JSM Partner Societies
Abstract #325506
Title: Statistics at Risk: The Effects of Declining Transparency
Author(s): Ryan McNeill*
Companies: Reuters

The steady erosion of access to government records by state and federal government officials is causing real harm. These actions are restricting the ability of journalists, academics, non-governmental organizations and the wider public to use data and statistics to understand the performance of their government --- sometimes by design. Despite massive advances in the ability of the public to use data and statistics --- open source software, cheap storage and incredibly powerful computing technology --- government has not kept pace. If the government keeps its information secret, then these advances cannot be used to better inform and improve society. In some cases, these moves can put lives at risk. We discuss real-world examples of roadblocks erected by the government --- from death certificates to passenger train GPS readings --- to show the harm from government keeping its data locked up.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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