Open Government Working Group
8 december 2007 - This weekend, 30 open government advocates gathered to develop a set of principles of open government data. The meeting, held in Sebastopol, California, was designed to develop a more robust understanding of why open government data is essential to democracy.
|The Internet is the public space of the modern world, and through it governments now have the opportunity to better understand the needs of their citizens and citizens may participate more fully in their government. Information becomes more valuable as it is shared, less valuable as it is hoarded. Open data promotes increased civil discourse, improved public welfare, and a more efficient use of public resources.
The group is offering a set of fundamental principles for open government data. By embracing the eight principles, governments of the world can become more effective, transparent, and relevant to our lives.
Your comments are welcome on our discussion list.The meeting was coordinated by Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media and Carl Malamud of Public.Resource.Org, with sponsorship from the Sunlight Foundation, Google, and Yahoo.
Larry Lessig on the Open Government Data Principles
Open Government Data Definition: The 8 Principles of Open Government Data
Government data shall be considered open if the data are made public in a way that complies with the principles below:
1. Data Must Be Complete
- All public data are made available. Data are electronically stored information or recordings, including but not limited to documents, databases, transcripts, and audio/visual recordings. Public data are data that are not subject to valid privacy, security or privilege limitations, as governed by other statutes.
2. Data Must Be Primary
- Data are published as collected at the source, with the finest possible level of granularity, not in aggregate or modified forms.
3. Data Must Be Timely
- Data are made available as quickly as necessary to preserve the value of the data.
4. Data Must Be Accessible
- Data are available to the widest range of users for the widest range of purposes.
5. Data Must Be Machine processable
- Data are reasonably structured to allow automated processing of it.
6. Access Must Be Non-Discriminatory
- Data are available to anyone, with no requirement of registration.
7. Data Formats Must Be Non-Proprietary
- Data are available in a format over which no entity has exclusive control.
8. Data Must Be License-free
- Data are not subject to any copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret regulation. Reasonable privacy, security and privilege restrictions may be allowed as governed by other statutes.
Finally, compliance must be reviewable.
- A contact person must be designated to respond to people trying to use the data.
- A contact person must be designated to respond to complaints about violations of the principles.
- An administrative or judicial court must have the jurisdiction to review whether the agency has applied these principles appropriately.
The group has written additional notes to provide additional context for the principles above.
Carl Malamud (Public.Resource.Org), Tim O'Reilly (O'Reilly Media), Greg Elin (Sunlight Foundation), Micah Sifry (Sunlight Foundation), Adrian Holovaty (EveryBlock), Daniel X. O'Neil (EveryBlock), Michal Migurski (Stamen Design), Shawn Allen (Stamen Design), Josh Tauberer (GovTrack.US), Lawrence Lessig (Stanford), Dan Newman (MapLight.Org), John Geraci (outside.in), Edwin Bender (Inst. for Money), Tom Steinberg (My Society), David Moore (Participatory Politics), Donny Shaw (Participatory Politics), JL Needham (Google), Joel Hardi (Public.Resource.Org), Ethan Zuckerman (Berkman), Greg Palmer (NewCo), Jamie Taylor (MetaWeb), Bradley Horowitz (Yahoo), Zack Exley (New Organizing Institute), Karl Fogel (Question Copyright), Michael Dale (Metavid), Joseph Lorenzo Hall (UC Berkeley), Marcia Hofmann (EFF), David Orban (Metasocial Web), Will Fitzpatrick (Omidyar Network), Aaron Swartz (Open Library)