President Obama issues historic executive order making open data the new default in federal government

This morning, the White House released a new executive order from President Barack Obama that makes “open and machine readable” the new default for the release of government information.

The White House also published a memorandum regarding the policy that goes with it and a new website on Github that offers more context and resources on Project Open Data.

Below, U.S. CTO Todd Park and U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel talk about landmark steps to liberate more open data defined in the new order and what the new policy will mean:

One big question is whether data that is currently being bought by big business and startups — or obtained under FOIA — is now identified and released. Business interest in government data is longstanding, from Bloomberg to Reuters to Lexis-Nexis. New players exist now, particularly Google, and I expect them to consume data as it becomes available and make it usable, useful and economically significant.

At a broader level, the new policy defines machine-readable as the default and instructs agencies to do data inventories. That may sounds simple, to a layman, but it’s a big deal, if the administration can drive implementation and make this more than another compliance exercise.

We’ll see. John Wonderlich is right: this open data executive order is a step in the right direction and shows a path forward.

Later today, the President is going to talk about this order in Texas, elevating open data into the national discussion. I expect the conversation that results to be interesting. I’ll be speaking with the US CIO as well, so if you have questions, please let me know at @digiphile on Twitter or weigh in in the comments.

5 thoughts on “President Obama issues historic executive order making open data the new default in federal government

  1. Pingback: The new White House open data executive order: how does it compare to the British version? | Simon Rogers

  2. Pingback: Roundup: media coverage of the White House executive order on open data | E Pluribus Unum

  3. Pingback: That time President Obama said “open data” | E Pluribus Unum

  4. Pingback: Open government experts raise concerns about “mosaic effect” in open data policy | E Pluribus Unum

  5. Pingback: White House open data engagement suggestions highlights lack of vision | E Pluribus Unum

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