Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dissertation Road Blocks

OK, so I've got an idea for my dissertation. I want to quantify the reduction in your probability of having a crime at your address if you have a security system. However, I need some data that's a little bit sensitive. In fact, it's legally "confidential data." I am in the approval process with the Human Subjects board at FSU right now. I've called around to places asking what I'd need to do to get data (I can't actually get anything before HS approves me). I keep getting told that there's nothing I can do and they can't give out the info I need. I just need to keep going higher up the chain, I guess.

I don't know what I can do to help myself out...I'm thinking: 1. letter from my advisor asking for the data on FSU letterhead. 2. encrypt data? I don't know a whole lot about that. 3. Password protected hard drive...I know they do it with USB flash drives...why not big hard drives? 4. Offer to get fingerprinted, tap my phones, & monitor my internet usage to prove that I'm not sharing this data with anyone. 5. Promise never to reveal any individually identifiable information.

Let me know if you have suggestions for things I could do to convince people to let me use their data. Basically, I just want the address and when it first had a security system installed. I see why that's confidential, but confidential doesn't mean unobtainable. At least I know that these data exist.
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