Free or Privatise Our Data


Michael Cross writes a very sensible piece on the Tories new “free” data plans.

It sounds like a variation of an old Who song “Meet the new government same as the old government” except that one would have to be wary of the Tories penchant to privatise anything that they can.

To judge by Cameron’s speech, which makes no mention of the government’s single largest data business, the Conservatives share this aversion to reform. The suspicion must be that the Tory solution is to try and sell off the mapping agency lock stock and barrel. Yet locational information is an essential component of nearly every public data set. To commercialise its supply would be to move in the very opposite direction of setting our data free.

Not for the first time I find myself strongly agreeing with Michael Cross. My one question is if the treasury are unable or unwilling to go down the centrally funded route what would you prefer – privatisation or trying to get the best out of the current model. I know which one I would choose.

A poll Michael?