WOW: When Ben Wellington analyzed found that the New York Police Department was systematically ticketing illegally. Even better, when he told city officials about his discovery, the NYPD reviewed his findings … and changed its policy.”, he
Wellington was understandably excited. “THIS is what the future of government could look like one day,” he wrote on his blog.
THIS is what Open Data is all about. THIS was coming from the NYPD, who is not generally celebrated for its transparency, and yet it’s the most open and honest response I have received from any New York City agency to date. Imagine a city where all agencies embrace this sort of analysis instead of deflect and hide from it.
Democracies provide pathways for government to learn from their citizens. Open data makes those pathways so much more powerful. In this case, the NYPD acknowledged the mistake, is retraining its officers and is putting in monitoring to limit this type of erroneous ticketing from happening in the future. In doing so, they have shown that they are ready and willing to work with the people of the city. And what better gift can we get from Open Data than that.
DOING GOOD WITH OPEN DATA: Sunlight’s Noel Isama shared some lessons from the 2016 “Do Good Data” Conference at our blog. “When we discuss open data and data science, it is often in the context of commercial gains or how government performance or accountability can be improved,” he wrote. “While these aims are important, there is one underlying goal in relation to government that’s often overlooked when talking about the power of transparency through technology: facilitating social good.” [Sunlight]
GOT ID?: In a post at 18F’s blog, the U.S. General Services Administration announced that it’s building a “modern shared authentication platform” for the public to use to sign-on to federal digital services.
“18F is working iteratively with a team of technologists from across the government to build a platform for users who need to log in to government services,” writes Joel Minton. “We’re also coordinating with the Federal Acquisition Service, the Office of Management and Budget, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology on the specifics of the platform. This platform is part of a government-wide initiative stemming from a White House plan to improve the public’s online safety and security.”
Blake Hall, co-founder of ID.me, which provides identity services, thinks it’s a bad idea. “Why,” he wonders, “is GSA building yet another login solution that currently has no users when they can cooperate with the private sector in accordance with NSTIC to take advantage of trusted logins that already exist?”
- The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, told the Associated Press that he does not plan to disclose his tax returns before November and ruled out taking public financing for his campaign. [AP]
- The total amount raised by super PACs this cycle has now passed $700 million, according to a new analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. In total, these groups are on pace to collectively raise $1 billion by the end of June. [Washington Post]
- Here’s how Congress made it easier for parties to collect bigger checks. [Sun Herald]
- GPS tracking devices used in a report by the Basel Action Network showed the major U.S. recyclers are exporting toxic e-waste to other countries, contradicting government reports to the contrary. MIT’s Senseable City Lab published an interactive map online to show the movement. [The Intercept]
- The New York Times reviewed the 30,322 emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server that the State Department has disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information Act suit and concluded sensitive information is routinely emailed on unclassified government servers. [New York Times]
- The State Department maintains that it cannot find any text sent or received by the former Secretary while she was in office. [Politico]
- In different angle on open government, Clinton has said that, if elected, she would declassify government files on extraterrestrials. [New York Times]
- “If you are looking for successful transparency and open data applications, you don’t have to look far,” writes University of Minnesota librarian Nancy Herther:
“People, organisations, agencies and non-profits alike, unite! Jump into the feedback loop and tell governments, and the world, when open government data is being put to good use,” Open Data Stories declares. The Open Data 500 study, part of an effort by New York University’s GovLab to conduct the “first real, comprehensive study of the use of open government data in the private sector,” is another example of the depth and expanse of this growing movement. Open Data Now and the Sunlight Foundation’s impact stories project also collect representative examples of progress made with the help of transparent, open government systems. The Open Government Partnership’s blog and Code for America’s open data playbook similarly collect information on the results of using open data and information as well as the impact that openness provides. These initiatives are designed to provide persuasive evidence in favor of prying even more openness from governmental entities. [InfoToday]
- The “Tackling Corruption Together” conference convened numerous open government actors today in the United Kingdom.
- The Open Government Partnership welcomed Nigeria, which may raise some eyebrows about the criteria countries must meet participation, particularly the day after Prime Minister David Cameron called Nigeria “fantastically corrupt.” Nigeria has long been counted as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, with an ingrained culture of corruption that has hindered governance and commerce in the country for decades. While Cameron backtracked today, praising the steps Nigeria has taken, Transparency International’s low ranking of Nigeria suggests he isn’t wrong.
Tired of your boss/friend/intern/uncle forwarding you this email every morning? You can sign up here and have it delivered direct to your inbox!