Open Data Policy

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Contents

Case Studies

The Open Government Guide provides a complete compendium of information on every state's open records and open meetings laws and StateIntegrity.com has a list of reform efforts. The Open Government Partnership also lists national commitments.

For case studies on the effect of good policy, see Open Data Case Studies

Guidelines

For open data guidelines including those which focus on policy, see Open Data Guidelines

Policy Documents & Legislation

(by country, then chronologically)

United States of America in 2013, and previously the Open Governmnet Directive in 2009

U.S. State Guide

>> If you’re curious in following state level open data policy bills currently in process, check out Sunlight’s Open States and Scout for alerts.

U.S. Cities - Open Data Policies
U.S. Counties - Open Data Policies

Netherlands

United Kingdom

Canada

Australia

Pending Legislation

(by country, then chronologically)

Open Government Commitments (Letters of Intent)

Open Government Developing Commitments

Additional Policy Resources

Data Catalog Terms of Use

United States of America

United Kingdom

Canada

New Zealand

Australia

Policy Details

The details below need to be updated with many of the new case studies listed above.

Scope & General Guidelines

United States of America

  • Washington, D.C.
    • "Information Relevance - A short statement about the government function(s) reflected in the dataset, including relevance to residents and suggested uses, how often updates will occur and caveats."
    • "The web feed will be made available on the District's website in three collections:
      • Current - Most datasets will be released on daily basis. The feed will contain all new and updated records since the previous releases
      • Archive - Historical records that represent longer time periods beyond the current dataset
      • Report - Two to five year operational trend that, depending on nature of the data, can be disaggregated by ward, neighborhood cluster, type, population or other factors"
    • "Maintain accuracy and quality of supplied data sets"
  • Portland, OR
    • "The City of Portland seeks to encourage the local software community to develop software applications and tools to collect, organize, and share public data in new and innovative ways"
    • "Organize a regional contest to encourage the development of software applications to collect, organize, and share public data"
  • San Francisco, CA
    • "All datasets determined to be accessible to the public now and in the future shall be made available through DataSF.org"
    • "All Department Heads or their designees shall strive to publish all datasets under their authority consistent with the DataSF authorization policy"

Canada

  • Vancouver, BC
    • "Identify immediate opportunities to distribute more of its data"
    • "Develop a plan to digitize and freely distribute suitable archival data to the public"

License & Copyright

See also Intellectual Property Policy

United States of America

  • "Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section "What Works Are Protected.""- copyright.gov
  • "A work that is a United States Government work, prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person's official duties, is not subject to copyright in the United States and there are no U.S. copyright restrictions on reproduction, derivative works, distribution, performance, or display of the work. Anyone may, without restriction under U.S. copyright laws,
    • reproduce the work in copies in print or in digital form;
    • prepare derivative works of the work;
    • perform the work publicly;
    • display the work;
    • distribute copies or digitally transfer the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending." - usa.gov
  • "Data accessed through Data.gov do not, and should not, include controls over its end use. However, as the data owner or authoritative source for the data, the submitting Department or Agency must retain version control of datasets accessed. Once the data have been downloaded from the agency's site, the government cannot vouch for their quality and timeliness. Furthermore, the US Government cannot vouch for any analyses conducted with data retrieved from Data.gov." - data.gov

United Kingdom

  • "We have drafted a simple and enabling set of terms and conditions for the site which means that the data available through data.gov.uk will be re-usable both commercially and non-commercially. These terms and conditions have been aligned so that they are interoperable with any Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence. The terms and conditions are also machine readable meaning that the licence is presented and coded in such a way that applications and programs can access and understand the terms and conditions too." - OPSI
  • "You are encouraged to use and re-use the information that is available on this site and other linked Crown government sites freely and flexibly, with only a few conditions. You are free:
    • to copy, distribute and transmit the information
    • to adapt the information
    • to exploit commercially the applications you develop if you choose that route" - data.uk.gov

Canada

  • Vancouver, BC
    • "Ensure that data supplied to the City by third parties (developers, contractors, consultants) are unlicensed, in a prevailing open standard format, and not copyrighted except if otherwise prevented by legal considerations"

Data: Terms of Use

Require Notification

United States of America
  • Washington, D.C.
    • "Applications using data supplied by this site must perform the following: 1. Notify the District of Columbia via email"
  • New York City
    • "Users providing software applications using data supplied on the NYC.gov Data Mine must do the following: 1. Notify the City"

Restrict Use

United States of America
  • Chicago, IL
    • "The City may require a user of this data to terminate any and all display, distribution or other use of any or all of the data provided at this website 'for any reason' including, without limitation, violation of these Terms of Use or other terms as defined by City agencies or departments contributing data to this website."
  • Washington, D.C.
    • "The District of Columbia Government reserves the right to discontinue providing any or all of the RSS feeds at any time and to require the termination of any and all displaying, distributing or otherwise using any or all of the RSS feeds for any reason including, without limitation, your violation of any provision of these Terms of Use."
  • New York City
    • "The City reserves the right to discontinue providing any datasets or feeds on the Data Mine at any time. The City may require a user to terminate any and all display, distribution or other use of any or all of the datasets or feeds for any reason including, without limitation, violation of these Terms of Use or other terms defined by City entities contributing data to the Site."
  • Seattle, WA
    • "The City of Seattle reserves the right to discontinue providing any or all of the data feeds at any time and to require the termination of any and all displaying, distributing or otherwise using any or all of the data for any reason including, without limitation, your violation of any provision of these Terms of Use."
Canada
  • Vancouver, BC
    • "The City may, in its sole discretion, cancel or suspend your access to the datasets without notice and for any reason, including anything which the City, in its sole discretion, believes is a breach of these Terms of Use or is otherwise unlawful or harmful to others. In the event of cancellation or suspension, you will no longer be authorized to use or reproduce these datasets, and the City may use any means possible to enforce its decision. Such cancellation or suspension will not affect any person who has received the datasets from you and who is otherwise in compliance with these Terms of Use."
  • Toronto, ON
    • "The City may, in its sole discretion, cancel or suspend your access to the datasets without notice and for any reason, including anything which the City, in its sole discretion, believes is a breach of these Terms of Use or is otherwise unlawful or harmful to others. In the event of cancellation or suspension, you will no longer be authorized to use or reproduce these datasets, and the City may use any means possible to enforce its decision. Such cancellation or suspension will not affect any person who has received the datasets from you and who is otherwise in compliance with these Terms of Use."

Accessibility, Standards & Machine Readability

See Open Standards Policy

Privacy & Security

United States of America

  • Washington, D.C.
    • "Identify information that should be designated private on account of law or other privacy reasons and specify how it can be aggregated, generalized or otherwise de-identified so it can be made public"
  • San Francisco, CA
    • "By providing government data that adheres to privacy and security policies, San Francisco’s world class technology community is given the platform from which to create useful civic tools"
    • "This Directive will enhance open government, transparency, and accountability by improving access to City data that adheres to privacy and security policies"

Canada

  • Vancouver, BC
    • "The City of Vancouver will freely share with citizens, businesses and other jurisdictions the greatest amount of data possible while respecting privacy and security concerns"

Value

The United States

  • Washington, D.C.
    • "The guiding principle for streaming to the web is to enable the citizens to understand their government's activities and become knowledgeable participants in improving the quality of life and promoting economic development in the city"
  • Portland, OR
    • "By sharing data freely, the City of Portland seeks to develop opportunities for economic development, commerce, increased investment, and civic engagement for Citizens of the Portland region"
  • San Francisco, CA
    • "This new ease of access will lead to innovation in how residents interact with government, resulting in social and economic benefits for the City"
    • "The City and County of San Francisco will be able to engage our innovative high-tech workforce by releasing data, a key component of San Francisco’s future economic development"
    • "San Francisco’s world class technology community is given the platform from which to create useful civic tools, all at no cost to City government"
    • "By bringing City data and San Francisco’s entrepreneurs together, we can effectively leverage existing resources to stimulate industry, create jobs and highlight San Francisco’s creative culture and attractiveness as a place to live and work"

Canada

  • Vancouver, BC
    • "The total value of public data is maximized when provided for free or where necessary only a minimal cost of distribution"
    • "When data is shared freely, citizens are enabled to use and re-purpose it to help create a more economically vibrant and environmentally sustainable city"

Public Input & Review

United States of America

  • Washington, D.C.
    • "The publication of the datasets in [sic] be done in close cooperation with the interested."
  • San Francisco, CA
    • "All Department Heads or their designees shall conduct quarterly reviews of their progress on providing access to datasets requested by the public through DataSF.org. The results of this review shall be sent to the Mayor’s Office."