Government to Improve Data Sharing using APIs

Original Author: Assent Risk Management
Original Links: N/A


Many of us in the UK have experienced situations where government departments have failed to share data properly, causing unnecessary duplication, incorrect information being held or difficulties accessing required information.

Last week minister for the cabinet office Matt Hancock outlined his desire to improve how data is collected and used, citing it as a ‘mineable commodity’.

He stated:

“First we have to modernise our data infrastructure. We need to get better at standardising and maintaining our data. We need to move away from government’s reliance on bulk data sharing and create an economy of APIs.”

This came during a speech at the Open Data Institute’s summit, 3rd November 2015.


What is the Open Data Institute?

The Open Data Institute is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that believes open data has ‘proven benefits for economies and citizens’.

It works with the UK Government holding it to account for the open data programme, and Mr Hancock announced in his speech that over 20,000 government datasets have been published, covering almost £200 billion of public spending so far.

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New Data Leaders Network in Whitehall

To support the “open, effective, data-driven government” Mr Hancock hopes for, a steering group from industry and academia has been established including representatives from the ODI and Google.


Security Concerns

However, privacy and security concerns are never far away and this announcement may lead some to question if in this climate of cyber attacks and data breaches, increasing the amount of information shared and published is wise.

This has as much to do with the processes around data sharing, as the technical controls protecting it.