Uncategorised 4th October 2016

Open Data and Right to Know

by Peter Timmins

On the eve of the International Open Data Conference in Spain this week a reminder in this article of the inter-dependence of open data and access to information rights:

The Right to Know is the plumbing underneath what has become an ecosystem focused on open government and open data, but it often gets forgotten. The work of people protecting and defending the right to know gets taken for granted as we focus on the more exciting or innovative pieces that rely upon it. This needs to change if we are serious about using information as a tool in pushing for positive social change. The right to know means that the government is a duty bearer in sharing information. Even after a government proactively publishes key data sets, we must support right to know defenders to ensure that we still have power as citizens to demand that even uncomfortable data is made available when it is in the public interest.

The author cites the work of Silvana Fumega (who has been studying for her PhD at the University of Tasmania) as leading the way in making links between the Freedom of Information community and the Open Government Data communities.