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Shifting the finnish mindset


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A presentation given in the Finnish institute in London in "Digital Approaches to widening civic participation - cases Open Knwoledge and Digital Humanities"

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Shifting the finnish mindset

  1. 1. 29.4.2010 Shifting the Finnish Mindset Open Data Taking Root in Finland Jyrki J.J. Kasvi Parliament of Finland, Committee for the Future
  2. 2. Current situation in Finland <ul><li>Companies, universities and public authorities have to pay at least extraction costs to use public data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Redundant data collection and storage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(soon to be illegal in fact)‏ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Data is left unused and does not benefit anyone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Income from access fees is only a fraction of the potential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The million monkeys are not released </li></ul></ul>Wikimedia Commons Your Public Data
  3. 3. Challenges <ul><li>Cooperation between local and state authorities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Authorities collecting data (for example geoinformation) do not recognise each others' needs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Harmonisation and standardisation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data formats and computer systems are incompatible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In addition to technology, knowledge management processes have to be compatible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Usability and tracking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Services built on open data have to be certain that the data is always available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>End-user wants to be sure that the service is built on untampered source data </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sensitive information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Military installations and potential terrorists' targets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy (RFID, positioning, databases)‏ </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. E.g. Military secrets Actually all this has already been available from commercial services that can be more easily supervised.
  5. 5. Mashups would find new opportunities <ul><li>Combination of dynamic position data and static geoinformation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ubiquitous mobile services and entertainment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Navigators are only a humble beginning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Crowdsourcing integrates people with public data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating public data together (e.g. Fixmystreet)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In Finland: Collection of algae data on Baltic sea </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Mashups may point out social issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data mining may find surprising correlations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Health care resources and reasons of death </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Average income and learning results in schools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires a lot from politicians and media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>correlation ≠ causality </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Surprising correlations
  7. 7. Finland in crossroads <ul><li>Lack of political interest and passion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of open data has been civil servant driven </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The first Somus MindTrek competition in 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>” Payment basis act” is the key </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ministry of Finance has been opposing open data to defend extraction cost fees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For example geodata infrastructure law left the usage question open and only refers to the act </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mindset is changing rapidly even in the Ministry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Upside: everything can be changed through one law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Downside: ensuring compensatory funding for the authorities losing fee incomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The biggest challenge is wiping out the deeply rooted attitude: power = control over information </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Open information society = Open API <ul><li>I an open information society all public data and metadata are available to all through an open API for free. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>API (Application Programming Interface) provides access to data in a machine readable format </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Companies and citizens utilise the data to create their own services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mashups of different data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People know best what they want </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open API facilitates also multidiciplinary public services </li></ul></ul>Wikimedia Commons
  9. 9. Redefining publicity <ul><li>Poor usability of public paper records has effectively protected citizens' privacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only yellow press goes through celebrities' public records </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What happens when everybody's records can be accessed with a couple of clicks? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everbody can experience what it is like to be a Talent star or an MP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The end of double standards or the beginning of neomoralism? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Protection of privacy in the age of openness may require us to redefine limits of publicity </li></ul>
  10. 10. 29.4.2010 Sukupuolten välinen digikuilu? Discussion U.S. Army Photo