I think its more like reaching out and and also hitting you at the same time. I’m talking about plans and indeed actions around making public sector data freely available to not just web developers to build innovative and useful applications but anyone in general who wants to find out pretty much anything about the country we live in and then do what they like with the data.
At present the UK Government is asking for your help to test and drive this but… here’s my issue, at the same time threatening to impose strict and over the top penalties on ‘file sharers’. This apparent evil, file sharing, in particular, torrents and all, actually started out as an innovative application of the world wide web so this has parrallels with this new use of data on the web. “Yes, yes, do what you want with our data but hey whats that, you’re downloading something? Disconnect.” This will simply alienate people, is heavy handed and in general sounds like a plan to keep ‘on-side’ a few industries (music, tv, film) that the UK Government make a lot of revenue from in taxes. Not all peer-to-peer file sharing is copyrighted content, and incidentally this current public sector data bonanza doesn’t include geographical data which is copyrighted content of Ordnance Survey so work that one out.
How about a mashup of a few datasets to perhaps find any people who are using energy overnight from a computer and then their age and if under 35 assume they must file sharing – or they could be working on a web application using public sector data.