Open government and transparency activists asked for it: data available through open APIs and digital formats. Now that we have some of it, the dark spots on the sun are beginning to appear. The data are sometimes poor cousins to the records actually used to administer government or do its business, created as side systems or even fake records for public consumption and suffering from neglect at the hands of their overtaxed makers. Balancing privacy with widespread data releases sometimes leave the records too general for use in holding government accountable, and leave crucial data locked in technological and physical file cabinets. Records stored on paper and its electronic siblings are the forgotten members of the family. The panel, representing three viewpoints on transparency and its role in democracy, will highlight successes and failures in the recent transparency and open government movements and suggest solutions for data users and providers.
9th–13th March 2012