De-identified data can never become Open Data
The Open Data initiative has great potential as long as we talk non-personal and non-corporate data.
A key principle for the Digital World is however vital - de-identifying public sector databases cannot become Open Data.
The reason for this is not that data about people are not important to the economy - the reason is that data about people is TOO IMPORTANT to both economy, security and fundamental rights.
If we allow to undermine rights and go down the path of government first collecting personal data and then expropriating them through combining data from multiple sources and then publishing them as open data, we both damage the economy and security.
Bureaucrats will never stop inventing new excuses for more data collection. We will get public sector profiling and a massive escalation of Central Command & Control problems.
BUT - will some say - we need data for research, for pattern detection, for x, y and z. Exactly these are among the excuses that always gets abused for bad solutions according to first-order- syndrome thinking not taking responsibility for consequences.
INSTEAD we need to empower citizens with digital means to support these needs in parallel process. I.e. citiens have tools to on request get, combine, filter and virtualise data for feeding inuyt for further analysis.
1) Security - if citizens are empowered to be in control of data combination and virtualisation, there is no need for de-identification as this happens at source. You AVOID CREATING the problem in the first place.
2) More and better data - is citizens are in control even during and post-transaction we never create the risks and power that are the main cost of providing data.
Citizens already have more data than presently combined outside their control. But more importantly Citizens MUST HAVE exclusive control over data linkability into profiles anmd conclusions. If so, citizens can provider enriched secured conclusions instead of raw unsecure data - thus we get better data at source and more data as risks are minimised and real basis for trust for sharing is established.
3) Economy - Alligning data flows according to value creation is cricial for market innovation to work - if citizens do not perceive it is value creating given the even minimized added costs & risks, then the process should NOT proceed.
4) Reduce Command & Control ineffiencies - through eliminating the public sector collecion and data management for open data, we eliminate a source of massive inefficiences and cost escalation making it market driven instead.
5) Enabling the basic economy - as this proceed - citizsens control of data will also feed into all economic activity empowering the damand-side to ensure Single Market market value creation function.
This is a critical step in eliminating the massive market distortions and expnential risk accumulation due to commercial profiling in infrastructure.
6) The ultimate nightmare is what is threatening to happen in e.g. UK, where government intend to sell control of citizens and even healthcare data to commercial entities.
In that case we are talk systemic abuse of government power to undermine free society and the entire economic system. These structures can best be compared to Middleage Feudal structures where the King gave Aristocrats power over (Ownership) of citizens in exchange for power and taxes.
Sure - Control-centric bureaucrats bordering paranoia and greedy comercial entities will outcry and try to claim "necesity". This is no different from companies wanting financial subsidies and bureaucrats wanting control.
It is not legitimate requests. Respons to such requests should simply be - improve the primary Citizens Empowering data flows and you can get all you want - except the posibility of abusing government powers.
As such - NOT accepting de-identified public data to feed into the Open Data process witl drive positive change and constructrive innovation. Whereas abusing govenrment powers will drive more damanging Central Command & Control as well as undermine the very idea of a Single Market.
In short to summarize - NO additional Public Sector profiling in order to create open data. No de-identified public data should EVER be allowed to be labelled "Open Data".
On the contrary, it is critical to fundamental rights and principoles of both democracy and free markets that this does NOT occur and existing practices of such nature be changed through Citizen Empowerment.