On the fabrication of sausages, or of Open Government and Private Data
Governments have become increasingly open and transparent over the last few years. Originally, this trend was largely based on the desire to give citizens access to governmental information, so that state policies and regulatory practices could be controlled and debated. The right to access of governmental data was directly linked with democratic values such as autonomous citizenship, public debate and control on governmental power. In the beginning of this century, emphasis has shifted to a new ground for requiring transparency, namely the re-use of public sector information. Re-use of governmental data by third parties is mostly executed by market parties with commercial interests. The principles of open government in general and based on re-use specifically may come into conflict with two rights, relating to intellectual property and to privacy. This article analyses the tension between open government policies and the protection of personal information from a legal perspective. Finally, it assesses whether and if so, how the two principles can be reconciled.
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