Reconciling Contradictions of Open Data Regarding Transparency, Privacy, Security and Trust
While Open Data initiatives are diverse, they aim to create and contribute to public value. Yet several potential contradictions exist between public values, such as trust, transparency, privacy, and security, and Open Data policies. To bridge these contradictions, we present the notion of precommitment as a restriction of one’s choices. Conceptualized as a policy instrument, precommitment can be applied by an organization to restrict the extent to which an Open Data policy might conflict with public values. To illustrate the use of precommitment, we present two case studies at two public sector organizations, where precommitment is applied during a data request procedure to reconcile conflicting values. In this procedure, precommitment is operationalized in three phases. In the first phase, restrictions are defined on the type and the content of the data that might be requested. The second phase involves the preparation of the data to be delivered according to legal requirements and the decisions taken in phase 1. Data preparation includes amongst others the deletion of privacy sensitive or other problematic attributes. Finally, phase 3 pertains to the establishment of the conditions of reuse of the data, limiting the use to restricted user groups or opening the data for everyone.