Chris Taggart on Global Open Data for Democracy

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"In a globalised world where national boundaries are ignored by companies, the environment, and lobbying (e.g. ACTA) is global open data the only way to give the community an understanding of the issues, forces and problems that face us?

Much of the global information is already available in closed, proprietary datasets and is available for a price — legislation, corporate info, lobbying info. What practically can open data do to correct the asymmetries of information?

What implications does this have for democracy? Where’s the democratic oversight of Wikileaks, of Wikipedia, of OKFN ;-) and does this matter, or does their survival depends on them being outside of any formal structure?

How does jurisdiction work with global open data. If personal information about a German person is put in the public domain by the US, does/should the German state have the right/ability to prevent publication by a German website/by a website in another EU country? cf libel tourism, companies moving base for tax/oversight advantages.

How do we do this in a distributed, open way, but still building data sets that have as much — or more — power as those currently closed datasets, and what licences should we attach to make this work?"

Chris Taggart

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