Public government data is now far more accessible to the general public through the Internet. The Obama administration has decided that letting developers access government data simple and efficiently will lead towards more startups, better apps, and, as a result, a boosted economy.
Prior to Obama's latest decision, public government data was available, but much harder to access. Now online, this data is simple to access, and some developers have already started to create some amazing things. Of course, there's a large amount of dispute over this decision.
Are Secrets Being Revealed?
Does Obama's latest decision mean that government secrets and top-secret files are being revealed to the general public? Do you need to fear for your safety? Not at all. Government files that are of the secretive sort will still be kept under wraps. Obama's decision simply opens up public files.
As it turns out, public files were meant to be far more accessible from the start. Prior to Obama's latest decision, though, you practically had to know someone in the government in order to find a file. Obama is now asking all government agencies to put files online from the start. The goal here being accessibility for all. Why bother? What can come from this decision?
Technology Might Begin to Boom
In a recent statement, Obama points to the use of the Global Positioning System (originally a government technology), and all the great devices and apps that have been created using this technology. Many additional startups will likely use open data to create apps and devices as well.
Here's what Obama had to say on the matter: "...starting today, we’re making even more government data available online, which will help launch even more new startups. And we’re making it easier for people to find the data and use it, so that entrepreneurs can build products and services we haven’t even imagined yet."
Some Debate Stirring
Some people that oppose this new plan believe that making government data more accessible can lead to problems. There is a reason, they claim, that these files were difficult to find. Might that be a true statement? Or, were government departments just really slow when it came to putting public information online?
After all, it takes awhile to transfer files from large folders and boxes to the Internet, and someone will have to complete this task. Not an easy thing to do, but Obama isn't taking that as an excuse. These files were always meant to be public, and that's what they'll be from now on. So, how can you access the newly uploaded files?
Finding the Files You Need
This process is an ongoing one, but, for now, you can find public files by visiting the homepage of the specific government organization you are looking for. From there, you should see a section on each homepage that relates to open files. Can't find what you are looking for? You might have to wait awhile. Is this policy a good one? Sound off below!