Open data rights: what do you think?                    

Open data supports government transparency and accountability. It’s also a huge resource for insight, invention and exploration across the wider data and innovation ecosystem.

Public users - including industry, researchers and the community - have the right to access government data and information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPAA).

What about a statement of rights?

Members of the open data community proposed the idea of a statement of rights during development of the 2016 NSW Government Open Data Policy. Drafting the statement began in a co-design lab at the policy launch event in April.

The policy identifies responsibilities for government agencies under six open data principles:

  • Open by default, protected where required
  • Prioritised, discoverable and usable
  • Primary and timely
  • Well managed, trusted and authoritative
  • Free where appropriate
  • Subject to public input

The statement describes rights and responsibilities for people who use open data, according to these same principles.

It complements the NSW Charter for Public Participation being developed by the NSW Information Commissioner, who also acts as the NSW Open Data Advocate.

What do you think?

What do you think about the statement?

Is it helpful? Easy to understand?

Would you add or change anything?

Let us know in the comments below – or sent us an DataNSW [at] (email) with the subject line Open Data Rights


I would suggest, it should also be 'Well documented' and "Consistent". An example of consistency would be a standard format for representing Dates & Timezones in api data. Documentation should be available to describe this format, as well as any instances of format variation in each api.
Seeing open data as one-way road – with responsibilities and costs on government side, benefits on the other side – is a road to failure. Both sides should bear their part of responsibility, and open data must be of benefit for agencies themselves (especially in the times of budget cuts). Quality actionable data require investment and additional effort, and if business needs them, it should shoulder the expenses. In my opinion, this rosy romantic Statement ignores the interests of the Gov’t (as well as all the substantial risks related to open data, first of all the risks of mis-interpretation and liability for outcomes, disclosure of classified information and PII, giving the advantage to foreign actors capable of using superior data processing resources), - and as a result it might be a stillborn document.
Given we are talking about data produced gathered and managed by public services, it should be free where possible. Appropriate is a very subjective term, possible is far more aspirational as well as more accountable. Encouraging the public to examine and question government policy will result in stronger governance and richer debate.

Post a Comment