The opportunities and risks involved in exploiting consumers' personal data are the subject of much coverage at the moment. But what about the commercial potential of the vast data sets being made available by the public sector? Datonomy shares some observations.

Some of the Datonomy crew attended a Westminster eForum conference earlier in the month which had as its theme "policy priorities for user data". Datonomy was particularly interested to hear one of the speakers, Professor Nigel Shadbolt, talk about the open government data initiative. The initiative is supported by a new independent organisation which is funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the Open Data Institute, which the Professor chairs with Sir Tim Berners-Lee as president.

The initiative – which involves publishing anonymised government data – was announced in November 2011 by George Osbourne and can be seen as part of a general drive for transparency in government which … Continue Reading ››

Any Datonomy readers who are responsible for their organisations' annual DP notifications may wish to respond to the consultation published by the ICO today.  The deadline is 30 November and it poses the following three  questions about possible refinements to the UK system:
  • should the notification and payment process go fully online (Datonomy knows what a pain  the manual nature of the current process is);
  • should the register contain contact details to help individuals with questions about the use of their  personal data (already a matter of good practice when it comes to an organisation's privacy policy); and
  • whether data controllers should have the option of providing a more narrative description of the data processing they carry out, with the opportunity to link to the organisation's  more detailed privacy policies.
The ICO would continue to provide template forms for specific types of data controllers, but Datonomy suspects that many of its readers' organisations would favour … Continue Reading ››