The bill introduces new rules for the reuse of government information. The government collects large amounts of data in order to do its job. In principle, this data belongs to everyone, because it was collected in the public interest. This is why the starting point is that it is public, as regulated in the Open Government Act. “Reuse” means that the government makes publicly available data available in large quantities and in an appropriate format to use the data for other applications – including in real time (eg traffic jam reports). The proposal implements the European directive and makes reuse cheaper and easier. In addition, data from government-funded scientific research and data from a number of public institutions, such as travel data on public transport, will also be reused.
The Advisory Division has several comments on the bill and advises the government not to submit the bill to the House of Representatives unless the bill is amended.
The bill establishes a commitment – which remains to be established – to make data from scientific research publicly available and available for reuse. This commitment goes well beyond the European directive, which assumes that researchers themselves determine what data they publish. An obligation is a violation of a fundamental right of (intellectual) property. The advisory division of the proposal lacks evidence of the usefulness and necessity of this commitment. She believes that this obligation should be detailed in the law itself, with the participation of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, and adds that this issue does not fit with a draft law that applies only European regulation.
Reuse of personal data
In principle, personal data may not be provided for reuse. If the personal data is anonymous, it is allowed, because anonymous data cannot be traced back to people. However, it is conceivable that the anonymous data can later be recalculated back to the original personal data using faster and smarter computers. Government organizations that previously provided data remain responsible for ensuring that neither the citizens nor the companies that received the data do so. According to the advisory division, this is a difficult task for government agencies. It asks the Government to indicate concretely how it can be supported in this. The Dutch Data Protection Authority also has an extension message In June of this year, the Minister of Interior and Kingdom Relations requested attention to this.
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