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EC member states told to open public datasets by 2013 - The European Commission is to make governments across Europe open their datasets by 2013 to give citizens the right to access and use data as they wish.

Neelie Kroes, vice president of the EC for the Digital Agenda, said at an OpenForum europe (OFE) event in Brussels that making data available has numerous benefits for individuals, businesses and governments.

"I am convinced that the potential to reuse public data is significantly untapped. Such data is a resource, a new and valuable raw material. If we became able to mine it, that would be an investment which would pay off with benefits for all of us," she said.

"What could be more natural than public authorities who have collected information on behalf of citizens using their tax money to give it back to those same citizens? New professionals such as data journalists are our allies in explaining what we do."