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Privacy worries dog open data consultation

UKauthorITy.com - Concerns about personal privacy appeared in a "significant" number of responses to the government's consultation on transparency and open data, the Cabinet Office revealed today.

A summary of responses to last year's consultation on "Making Open Data Real", says that respondents "expressed concern that the consutlation failed to address the interaction between personal data... with open data, and the potential for open data to have a negative impact on confidentiality and privacy."

While the responses showed "widespread support for transparency and open data" there were "divergent views" on how this might work in practice. According to the summary, published along with all but one of the 247 written responses, respondents asked for more clarity on the government's programme.

Overall, the consultation suggests that the government's open data policy may not be quite as much of a universal crowd pleaser as ministers expect. "On balance, there was support for the principle that public bodies, bodies in recepit of pubic funds, and bodies commissioned to deliver public services should be subject to open data obligations." However there were many calls for exceptions, including early releases of research data.