Feeds

Europe begins revamp of rules on re-use of public info

Asks for views on Public Sector Information Directive

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The European Commission is revising the rules governing the sale and use of public information in a bid to encourage the use of mapping, weather, legal and statistical information as the basis of information services.

The current Commission pledged to revise the rules governing such use as part of its 'digital agenda' plan of actions. It has now asked for views and recommendations on its plans as part of its review of the Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive.

That Directive regulates the way in which public sector bodies make sets of data available for re-use and was an attempt to encourage the re-use of data.

"The Directive has helped to remove some of the barriers to re-use, such as monopoly positions of public sector bodies or lack of transparency in the market for re-usable public data," said a Commission statement. "The 2003 Directive had a positive impact in several fields such as geographical and meteorological sectors. However, the Commission also warned that to realise the full potential of PSI for the EU economy, EU Member States must remove remaining barriers to re-use."

A review last year of the Directive highlighted the areas that needed to change.

"These include discrimination between potential users, excessive charges for public sector information re-use and complex licensing policies," said the Commission. "[The review] also pointed to practical problems such as lack of awareness of what public sector information is available, and public sector bodies failing to realise the economic potential of their data."

The Commission is seeking the public's view on the scope of the current Directive, the fees that are charged for PSI, and on issues such as formatting and promotion of information.

"Better and more use of public sector information has great potential to generate new businesses and jobs and to provide consumers with more choice and more value for money," said Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes. "The mobile apps market, partly based on PSI-generated data, could grow to €15bn by 2013."

"However, much of Europe's PSI is insufficiently or even sometimes not exploited. We cannot lose out on this opportunity. We need to consider whether and how the EU rules on re-use of PSI should be amended to fully unlock PSI's economic potential," she said.

A 2006 study showed that services that re-used PSI generated revenues of €27bn a year. The consultation closes on 30 November.

Past campaigns have sought to convince UK governments to make data available that was generated by government or publicly-owned bodies. Unsuccessful campaigns have demanded free access to the postcode database operated by the Post Office and mapping information owned by Ordnance Survey.

Some Ordnance Survey map data was release for re-use earlier this year.

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.