G8 Open Data Charter will 'increase transparency' and 'fuel innovation'

Five key principles outlines how governments should release datasets for economic and social benefits

Alongside unresolved tussles over Syria and taxation one major outcome of the G8 conference was the signing of the Open Data Charter: five principles to ensure that government data is made freely available in an effort to spur both transparency and innovation.

The government has described it as “a huge step forward” with Nick Clegg stating in his closing speech at the G8 event that “open is the new normal.”

The charter states that open data sits at the heart of the global technological revolution and that “providing access to government data can empower individuals, the media, civil society, and business.”

The five principles of open data to be implemented by the G8 countries – “while working without our national political and legal frameworks” – have been given as:

  • Open Data by Default
  • Quality and Quantity
  • Useable by All
  • Releasing Data for Improved Governance
  • Releasing Data for Innovation

The first principle is meant “in the widest sense possible”, with the data to be made public to be found at all levels of governance – whether national or local whilst  the “Quality and Quantity” stipulation states that the information must be given in “plan, clear language, so that it can be understood by all”.

By “Useable by All” the charter states that data should be released without “registration requirements” or “administrative barriers” and in “open formats wherever possible”. The last two principles outline how the charter hopes the data will be used – so that it “strengthens our democratic institutions” as well as generates “social and economic benefits”.

Writing in the Telegraph, Professor Nigel Shadbolt (the co-founder of the UK’s Open Data Institute – the ODI) praised the charter, saying: “Quite simply open data is an enabler of freedom. Our freedom to trade, to learn, to be secure, and to our well-being as individuals, organisations, and as countries.”

Shadbolt also praised the open data revolution for helping to “untangle the corporate web” and allowing “citizens [to] hold governments to account.” However, he also reminded readers that much work still remains if open data is to be fully utilized, comparing the situation to the early days of the internet, stating “this is only the beginning.”

The UK’s efforts regarding open data have so far been concentrated on Shadbolt’s ODI, an independent, non-profit and non-partisan company funded by the government and by philanthropic investment.

Successes spearheaded by the ODI so far have included Mastadon C, a big data company incubated at the ODI that identified over £200m of savings spent on ‘premium brand’ prescriptions in the NHS, and startups like Placr, a company that aims to create single source for UK transport information and recently received a £250,000 in funding.

The G8 Open Data Charter is certainly ambitious, but if nations adhere to its recommendations then there will be benefits for governments and citizens alike.

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

    £30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

    Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

    £30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

    Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

    £30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

    Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

    £30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

    Day In a Page

    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
    Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

    From strung out to playing strings

    Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
    The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
    Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

    Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

    The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
    On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

    On the road to nowhere

    A Routemaster trip to remember
    Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

    Hotel India

    Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
    10 best pencil cases

    Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

    Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
    Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

    Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

    Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
    Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

    Pete Jenson: A Different League

    Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
    This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

    The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

    Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis