Your assumptions are correct in that it’s a large liability (not really in the legal sense, but maybe legally too) to allow a public-facing database connection since it’d be quite difficult to ensure everything is locked down. We do advise best practices and even added a warning if you provide credentials with write access, but there could also easily be sensitive data available in the same database.
That being said, we’d love to be able to do this! Haha. Most recently, we were working with the Splitgraph team to make sure people could connect to their datasets using Observable database clients, and that would be a great use case of public db connections. We’ve been trying to figure out how to do it responsibly.
But team-shared database connections (and Secrets) are already a team feature. Everyone on the team can use the team-configured connections (we use them every day on the Observable team).
P.S. Thanks for the SF bay area basemap! I recently used it while exploring purpleair data!