INTRODUCTION

We seek your trust in Coloring Beirut in adherence to high data ethics standards. This is crucial to the platform's success and to its longevity.

Respect for each user and recognition of the importance of each contribution is central to the project's approach. Coloring Beirut is designed for everyone. It looks to create a safe, positive, constructive space for users of all genders, ages, cultural backgrounds and abilities to enjoy and benefit from, and a place where the sharing of knowledge by the user is both appreciated and respected.

In line with Colouring London, the Open Data Institute's Data Ethics Canvas is used by Coloring Beirut to help identify and address potential ethical concerns.


WHERE IS THE DATA FROM?

The original information posted on Coloring Beirut at its launch was obtained from the work of the survey conducted by BUL and the dataset of the LNSCR. Additional information is being entered by volunteers, researchers, and everyday city users, on their personal initiative.

We cannot certify the accuracy of the data collected by users, but we are exploring a range of features to assist us in checking long-term reliability. Users’ help in checking and adding data is highly appreciated.


HOW TO CREDIT THE DATA

All data we collect are made openly available. We just ask users to credit the work. For example, when using the base-map of Beirut as a whole, we would appreciate giving us credit through the following:

The base map was developed jointly by the Beirut Urban Lab at the American University of Beirut and the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS). It was updated last in (date of update stated on map).

Whenever datasets are used we would appreciate giving credit to Coloring Beirut.

The datasets were received by Coloring Beirut; an open source platform established the Beirut Urban Lab at the American University of Beirut and the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS). It was obtained in (date of the receipt of data).

ARE PERSONAL OR SENSITIVE DATA INVOLVED?

As you can see from our categories, the type of data required is related to the physical characteristics of buildings, which can be viewed or identified by the public already from the street or from images. These include information on a building's use, age and type, etc. One category is associated to ground floor use and building use. This information does not violate the privacy of the building as any passing-by dweller can notice and identify these details. In addition, some information on building use such as hospital or school or embassy can already be found on numerous online sources. Our task is to consolidate data and make it more accessible as well as to help increase accuracy through verification.

We do not collect personal data. Some users may choose to use anonymous names and emails. Nevertheless, we encourage users to put information as accurate as possible because when users contribute to Coloring Beirut, they are creating a permanent, public record of all data.

Additional checks have also been put in place to ensure privacy on the part of building occupants, owners and users. The site uses a dropdown menu system for all data submissions and does not allow free text.  Coloring Beirut does not collect data about a building beyond its external walls, other than with regard to its land use and the number of self-contained units within it.


ARE WE SURE WE ARE NOT CONTRAVENING ETHICAL FRAMEWORKS

Data privacy and data ethics are of the highest priority to the project. We actively discourage the contribution of personal data and avoid the collection of data about building residents. We are constantly seeking to learn from our partnerships about ethical issues regarding data collection and data sharing.


WHY ARE WE COLLECTING DATA? ARE WE REPLACING A SERVICE? ARE WE MAKING THINGS BETTER AND FOR WHOM?

We are collecting and rendering available open data on Beirut's built environment to provide free access to essential information for citizens, researchers, and different stakeholders. We also provide information for those designing, constructing, and caring for Beirut's buildings.

Our aim is to provide the first port of call for open data on Beirut's built environment. The release of data is also designed to stimulate the production of innovative and efficient products within the academic, non-profit and commercial sectors.

We believe that it is healthy for platforms collating data on the built environment to be curated by universities, and others, whose stance is impartial, and whose brief is to undertake research for the public good.