Is open data under threat? 2012-08-20


... “On the face of it, 2011 was a very good year for the open data movement, which argues that certain information, such as non-personal government data, is more valuable when it is shared freely... George Osborne announced that the government is to create an Open Data Institute, chaired by open data advocates Tim Berners-Lee and Nigel Shadbolt. The London-based Institute will receive £10 million funding and its aim is to ‘innovate, exploit and research open data opportunities with business and academia’. The idea is catching on in Brussels, and in December the European Commission announced its own open data strategy. It predicted that making data held by EC bodies available to the public would give a boost to the European economy of €40 billion a year... However, there were also a few developments that threatened to dampen the optimism of open data’s idealistic early proponents. In November, the Audit Commission revealed that spending data that local authorities are obliged to publish online had been used to defraud councils to the tune of £7 million in 2010... More worrying to some of open data’s keenest supporters was the government’s announcement in December that it plans to make anonymised patient data from the NHS available to the UK’s biomedical research industry... Meanwhile, government wrestled with the issue of trading funds –government bodies that earn 50% of their budget by selling data... In his Autumn Statement, Osborne proposed the creation of two more new bodies: the Data Strategy Board (DSB) and the Public Data Group (PDG). The DSB will commission data for free release to the public... The Public Data Group is tasked with looking after the commercial aspects of government data, promoting private sector use of trading fund data and investigating the possibility of trading funds becoming companies. Together, these two organisations will be in charge of finding a balance between the revenue-earning potential of government data and the public’s right to government information...”



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.comment oa.negative oa.europe oa.debates



Date tagged:

08/20/2012, 15:19

Date published:

02/01/2012, 14:46