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Traversing Digital BabelInformation, E-Government, and Exchange$
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Alon Peled

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027878

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027878.001.0001

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Four PSIE Challenges

Four PSIE Challenges

(p.161) 7 Four PSIE Challenges
Traversing Digital Babel

Alon Peled

The MIT Press

Chapter seven addresses four political and ethical dilemmas associated with the implementation of a Public Sector Information Exchange (PSIE). (1) The democracy challenge presents a trade-off between public data as a public good that cannot be traded, and efficient sharing of government information that furthers democratic ideals of transparency, accountability, and service delivery (via e-Government). This dilemma is examined through a case study of Iceland’s genome commoditization debate. (2) The privacy challenge concerns the trade-off between citizens’ right to privacy and efficient governance. (3) The data ownership and intellectual property challenge addresses the inherent tension in agencies’ ownership claim over public data: Can agencies own data that is essentially a public good? This challenge is examined through a case study of the Dutch RINIS public sector information commons project. (4) The freedom of information challenge concerns the dilemma between trading public data for profit, and making data freely accessible to citizens.

Keywords:   data ownership, data exchange, public sector, government agencies, freedom of information (FOI), privacy, big brother government, active citizenship, e-Government, intellectual property (IP)

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