There's no doubt the UK is leading the way in open government data. Almost 17,000 datasets are now available on the data.gov.uk website – and the benefits of sharing data with the public are obvious: according to theOpen Data Institute, it has the potential to increase custom for services and products, ease information sharing with other organisations, reduce maintenance cost and encourage innovation.
Perhaps most convincingly of all, open data is predicted to deliver a £2bn boost to the UK economy in the short term, with a further £6-7bn further down the line. Yet simply declaring data public does not automatically make it practical or meaningful. It has to be secure, accessible and presented to users in a format that is easy to use and make sense of.
The huge amounts of sensitive information – such as patient records, payment details or personally identifiable information (PII) – released could potentially be at risk of breaches and misuse. As a result, government is faced with having to find a solution that protects the privacy rights of the individual while at the same time providing organisations with valuable data. Continue>>>