Our prior work demonstrated that 5-10% of open datasets contain potential privacy violations, so we developed a tool to help. DataCheck can automatically scan a dataset and flag 14 types of common privacy violations before a researcher makes their data public. Available as both a Web app and R package, the tool runs locally so there is no risk of exposing participant data during the scan. It was validated on both live and simulated datasets to be >98% accurate.

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We just published our findings and recommendations for researchers to better protect the privacy of research participants when sharing open data. Examining over 2,000 public datasets from papers using human participants, we found that 5-10% contained information that could potentially re-identify participants.

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Richard Klein

Researcher at Tilburg University. Interested in metascience and the reproducibility of psychological science across contexts. raklein22@gmail.com