Open Data Endgame: Countering the Digital Consensus

CIGI Paper No. 186

August 20, 2018

The way in which the state takes on a moral role in society is not fixed; it is heavily influenced by history and culture and is persistently reshaped through democratic participation. Beyond regulation, a suite of government policies, from economic development to infrastructure, inform and influence the defined or blurred line between market and state, including the values that are exerted in these policies. Open government data is a policy issue that sits in this context and straddles the dividing line between market and state. Consider open government data as data that the government publishes for anyone else to use. The core idea explored in this paper is whether human behavioural data may warrant exemption, for the time being, from publication by the government through its open data programs due to the potential for this data to be used to further commodify human behaviour.

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CIGI Papers present in-depth analysis and discussion on governance-related subjects. They include policy papers that present CIGI experts' positions or contributions to policy debates, and background papers that contain research findings, insights and data that contribute to the development of policy positions.

About the Author

Bianca Wylie is a CIGI senior fellow. Her main areas of interest are procurement and public sector technology. She focuses on examining Canadian data and technology policy decisions and their alignment with democratically informed policy and consumer protection.