Stewardship refers to the design and application of data management principles covering collection, storage, retention, aggregation, de-identification, and procedures for data access, sharing, and use. It is distinguished from managing data (i.e., data management), in that stewardship ensures data are managed properly. This section presents data stewardship principles to guide transportation agencies.
Due to the unique requirements of individual agencies and their differing geographies, uses, and experiences, no one set of best practices will be applicable to all organizations. The team reviewed the best practices and recommendations from prior NCHRP studies and other governance organizations to identify those practices or recommendations that would be applicable to emerging freight data sources. The list presented in the table below represents the research team’s synthesis of best practices.
|Transparency and Openness||Individuals should be able to acquire information about how public and private entities are involved in the collection, storage, or use of personal information.|
|Purpose Specification||Agencies should clearly and specifically state why they are collecting information. Any changes to the purpose should be clearly stated.|
|Data Minimization, Retention, and Use Limitation||Agencies should only collect the information that is both directly relevant and necessary to meet their objectives. Agencies should only retain information as long as is necessary to meet their objectives.|
|Data Quality and Accuracy||Agencies should strive to ensure data is accurate and high quality. Incorrect information can negatively harm individuals. Regular audits can help ensure the data are accurate.|
|Accountability||Agencies are responsible for complying with data privacy rules.|
|Security||Agencies must protect personal data with reasonable security measures to prevent loss, unauthorized access, or disclosure.|
|Data Management||Agencies should work to ensure that data continue to remain relevant and valuable for research and decision-making beyond their initial use.|
The following subsections describe these principles in detail. Each subsection also includes a brief checklist that agencies can use to determine if each principle could apply to their data activities. When reviewing, if one or more of the questions apply to an agency, the principle may apply to their operation. It is important to note that these items are best practices, and are meant as a guiding framework.