Here are some relevant stories related to open data.
While some people have raised concerns over making public data freely available, those who favor doing it feel the potential good far outweighs the bad.
This year’s report found that the United Kingdom leads the world in making its public data open, but also noted that, in general, most governments aren’t making their data open and even most developed countries still have a long way to go.
In addition to privacy concerns, the main arguments made against making public data more open include:
* Critics of the government can use open data to make a case for cuts in government spending on public services, potentially leading to the privatization of such services and related assets.
* Private companies and individuals can leverage open data for their own benefit, to the detriment of others.
* Open data can create a new kind of digital divide, between those who have the ability and skill to use such data and those who don’t, putting the latter at a disadvantage.
Other scholars argue that, in certain contexts, opening the data might in fact just “empower the empowered“. In an article of a few years ago, but still definitely worth reading, the Next Generation Internet Foundation‘s director, Daniel Kaplan, mentions a paper on the digitization of land records in Bangalore, which shows how access to land ownership and title information in Bangalore
was used by people belonging to the upper and middle class, to “steal” the land away from the marginalized and the poor.
There’s little point in releasing a lot of data, if only a small fraction of the population is able to read them.