For Forbes, Network chair Beth Simone Noveck examines the growing prevalence and opportunity for impact of data collaboratives. From the pharmaceutical industry to research science to phone data – private actors are sharing previously withheld data in ways that benefit the public good. While the opportunity for open data to improve people's lives is increasingly recognized, Noveck argues that data collaboratives are an area that warrants more attention and activity. She notes, "There’s a need for more study to identify models for data sharing in ways that respect personal privacy and security and enable companies to do well by doing good."
Noveck goes on to conclude:
"After years of growing disenchantment with closed-door institutions, the push for greater use of data in governing can be seen as both a response and as a mirror to the Big Data revolution in business. Although more than 1,000,000 government datasets about everything from air quality to farmers markets are openly available online in downloadable formats, much of the data about environmental, biometric, epidemiological, and physical conditions rest in private hands. Governing better requires a new empiricism for developing solutions together. That will depend on access to these private, not just public data."