Finding balance in the age of open data


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Presentation by Rishi Maharaj

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Finding balance in the age of open data

  1. 1. Finding Balance in the Age of Open Data: Some Policy and Legal ConsiderationsRishi MaharajInformation Access and Privacy Professional
  2. 2. “Information is the Oxygen of democracy. IfPeople do not know what is happening in theirsociety, if the actions of those who rule themare hidden, then they cannot take a meaningfulpart in the affairs of that society” 2
  3. 3. Open Data and Open GovernmentOpen Data therefore enshrines the conceptthat neither the government of the day norcivil servants create data for their benefit, butfor the benefit of the public. Data is generatedwith public money, as such, it cannot beunreasonably kept from citizens.
  4. 4. Image credit:
  5. 5. Access to Information‘the right to information lays the foundation upon which to build good governance and transparency…. It is the key to moving from formal to consultative and responsive democracy’ Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
  6. 6. The Open Data ChallengeCitizenry Bureaucracy
  7. 7. What Bodies are covered by the Act?Public Authoritya.If it exercises any function on behalf of the stateb.if it was established by virtue of the President, by a Minister of Government in his capacity or by another public organization that is supported directly or indirectly by Government funds and over which Government is in a position to exercise control State owned Regional Parliament Ministries ,THA enterprise Authorities Courts Courts
  8. 8. What information can be released?
  9. 9. Benefits of Access to Information Legislation Transparency and Accountability Fosters economicPromote democratic development governance Exposes corruption Improves service Supports participatory delivery development
  10. 10. Information not accessible via Access to Information Legislation International Relations Documents Trade secrets affecting the documents economy and commercial affairs Defense andLaw Enforcement Security documents Material obtained Where secrecy in confidence provisions apply Documents affecting legal Internal Working proceedings
  11. 11. Public Interest• Notwithstanding any law to the contrary a public authority shall give access to an exempt document where there is reasonable evidence that significant: – Abuse of authority of neglect in the performance of official duty; or – Injustice to an individual; or – Danger to the health or safety of an individual or of the public; or – Unauthorised use of public fundshas or is likely to have occurred or in the circumstances giving access tothe document is justified in the public interest having regard both toany benefit and to any damage that may arise from doing so.
  12. 12. Public Interest• An important thing to note about this test is that it has a presumption in favour of disclosure.• The burden is on the public authority to show that the public interest in withholding the information is greater then the public interest in disclosure.
  13. 13. Privacy Protection“Personal data is the new oil of the Internetand the new currency of the digital world.”Meglena Kuneva, EuropeanConsumer Commissioner,March 2009
  14. 14. Information Privacy Defined• Information Privacy: Data Protection – Freedom of choice; personal control; informational self-determination; – Control over the collection, use and disclosure of any recorded information about an identifiable individual; – Privacy principles as embodied in “General Privacy Principles” – Global Privacy Standard (2006).
  15. 15. Why is the Protection of Personal Information necessary?• Privacy has long been understood to have a value in a civil society that respects inherent rights & values of mankind• T&T Constitution enshrines the right to privacy• Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that privacy is a fundamental human right• Privacy is an important element in the control of electronic activities such as unsolicited marketing & spam 15
  16. 16. Privacy Protection• We are currently confronting the rise of what I refer to as “digital dossiers”…. As businesses and the government increasingly share personal information, digital dossiers about nearly every individual are being assembled. This raises serious concerns. The information gathered about us has become quite extensive, and it is being used in ways that profoundly affect our lives. Yet, we know little about how our personal information is being used, and we lack the power to do much about it.”(Solove, 2010, p. 1)
  17. 17. Privacy ProtectionDifferent type of Data• Personal data: information that is or can be linked directly or indirectly to some person.• Statistical data: data without any personal information.
  18. 18. Privacy ProtectionChallenge• The need to protect against disclosure of personal information in confidential data (and against discovery of personal information from statistical data by matching techniques). vs.• The need to provide access to microdata for research.
  19. 19. Data Sharing & Data MatchingGovernment is subject to specific responsibilities re datasharing and data matching that recognizes theimportance of Government as a primary holder of infoabout individualsWhere a Public Body intends to share and or match infowith other Public Body, it shall do so only pursuant to anagreement in a manner prescribed by the InformationCommissioner 19
  20. 20. Access by Design7 basic principles1. Be Proactive not Reactive2. Access embedded into design3. Openness and Transparency = Accountability4. Fosters Collaboration5. Enhances efficient government Collaboration6. Makes Access truly Accessibility7. Increases Quality of Information Source:
  21. 21. Privacy by Design7 basic principles 1. Be Proactive not Reactive 2. Privacy as the Default 3. Privacy Embedded into Design 4. Positive – Sum not Zero-Sum 5. End to End Security (Life Cycle Protection) 6. Visibility and Transparency 7. Respect for User Privacy Source:
  22. 22. THANK YOU