Managing sensitive data


Does Specify provide a mechanism (or just fields) for managing sensitive data, which can be utilized to flag certain records as restricted or private? This mechanism would allow us to mark records, such as Collection Objects (CO) and Localities, as private and then use the Workbench tool to filter out these records during data export processes, ensuring that sensitive information is not included in public data sets like DarwinCore exports to the GBIF aggregator

Thanks for your help

Hi @Heryk

This is a very similar issue to Paleo locality restrictions

We use a simple yesNo field for this purpose, which can be placed in whichever table you wish to mark as sensitive. I then bundle that as part of the export script that processes the dataset before it is shared to the ipt. (Maybe in the future I will setup RSS completely, but for now the export process is quick enough that it hasn’t been worth the effort).

If you just wanted to do it for the record as a whole, this would be very easy and no script would be required. Just add yesNo1 equals False or Empty to the query. Of course you would have a different caption on yesNo1 like “sensitive” or “do not export” so that the query builder can identify it.

For something like a locality (or any other table), you would just want to restrict the location fields while still exporting the record as a whole. For this, the yesNo field in any relevant tables would be included in the export, and then the script just looks to that yesNo field and removes (or rounds) whichever data you don’t wish to export.

Note GBIF has guidance on this topic: Current Best Practices for Generalizing Sensitive Species Occurrence Data


Thanks @markp!
I will do as suggested.