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Public data: a matter of trust

Article dated: 28 November 2012

The Open Data White Paper 2012 from the Cabinet Office says that making public data trustworthy, accessible and easy to use can provide new efficiencies in public services and help consumers make informed choices.

While these effects are not yet tested, the UK Data Service is thinking ahead about how to prepare and use publicly available government data to achieve the best possible outcomes.

open data

Matthew Woollard, Director of the UK Data Service, addresses these issues in Britain in 2013, the magazine of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

In the feature article on page 65, he highlights some examples of clear benefits that can be gained, along with some cautions. In the end he concludes:

"If we are to make the most of public data we must address some crucial issues. We have to deal with some of the commonly held views against data sharing. We have to ensure that data are made available in useful formats and that there are controls against improper release and malicious misuse. The loss of data integrity must also be controlled. These tasks are not insurmountable."

Britain in 2013 is available throughout the UK at WH Smith High Street and Travel shops, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, and Boots.

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