(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
data, uk



UK Government Sets Up 'Public Data Corporation' To Free Up Data

from the what-a-nice-idea dept

Glyn Moody points us to the news that the UK government is setting up a "Public Data Corporation" with the charge of working with various government agencies and pulling together data and freeing it up for the public:
The Corporation will, for the first time, bring together Government bodies and data into one organisation and provide an unprecedented level of easily accessible public information and drive further efficiency in the delivery of public services.

Supporting the Government's growth agenda, it will open up opportunities for innovative developers, businesses and members of the public to generate social and economic growth through the use of data.
Of course, it looks like it's not freeing up all data. While it says that it will make data available freely in many cases, it may also look to sell some of the data. Still, this definitely seems like a good step forward.

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  • icon
    Jay (profile), 13 Jan 2011 @ 11:13pm

    Uhm...

    Where's the incentive to free up the data?

    I'm sure that there will be more incentive to sell everything for a price.

    This is just as bad as Freddie and Fannie and the entire QSE fiasco.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      The eejit (profile), 14 Jan 2011 @ 1:09am

      Re:

      I agree wholeheartedly. This feels like a 419 scam, only government-sanctioned. "Want your info? Please send a small administration fee of $200 to Congress!"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Keith G (profile), 14 Jan 2011 @ 5:26am

    RE

    "it will open up opportunities for innovative developers" sounds more like they are putting our personal data online than 'freeing' data.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2011 @ 6:05am

    In other words. We will put all the stuff the government wants in this pool of 'publicly usable content' and then we lock it away and require 50 forms to let the public use it. Who gets to decide what goes in the pool of content? Will it be actual Public Domain or just some more bull?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2011 @ 6:07am

    Will this be like the 'Freedom of Information Act'?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2011 @ 6:09am

    The fact that they call it a corporation makes it suspect immediately. It will information for sale just like everything else. Those that have, get. Those that have not, get not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 14 Jan 2011 @ 6:45am

    Overly complicated

    Wait... this seems overly complicated to me. The government sets up a corporation. The point of this corporation is to get various government agencies to free up their data. The corporation then provides it to the public.

    Why doesn't the government, you know, just free the data and give it to the public? Through whatever the British equivalent of the Freedom of Information Act is.

    This seems to me like something that politicians can point to and say "We're being transparent!" without actually accomplishing anything and not really being transparent at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 14 Jan 2011 @ 8:35am

      Re: Overly complicated

      Take everything that has been deemed "unclassified" and would be accessible threw a FOIA request (or whatever in the UK) and put it all on an open webserver. Put it all in a nice database with a good API and let someone else figure out how to make a pretty user interface. Sounds relatively easy to do and it saves taxpayer money by not having to pay asinine amounts to a web developer.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Idobek (profile), 14 Jan 2011 @ 12:20pm

        Re: Re: Overly complicated

        The "UK equivalents" are the Freedom of Information Act and a FoI request.

        I think the reason for setting up the corporation is to head of the criticism they get whenever they release raw information. Almost all the commentators insist that no one will be have any incentive to create a user interface or investigate the data (and make it understandable to the mainstream media). Witness the tone of amazement in all today's Wikipedia anniversary stories - the MSM really doesn't understand why people contribute.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bruce, 16 Jan 2011 @ 9:28am

    UK info database

    This sounds like a British version of the portal www.usa.gov. Simple enough, just follow the US example.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bruce, 16 Jan 2011 @ 9:31am

    UK info database

    This sounds like a British version of the portal www.usa.gov. Simple enough, just follow the US example.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    aikiwolfie (profile), 16 Jan 2011 @ 11:05am

    Sounds Like A New Labour-ish National Database

    This just smacks of New Labour. Which is a bit scary. I thought we voted them out at the last election by not actually voting for anybody.

    So Conservative + Liberal Democrat = New Labour? Dam! ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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