UK lags behind in information transparency, says BCS

Members of the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, have ranked the UK fourth in terms of the perceived openness of the government making information available to the general public.

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Members of the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, have ranked the UK behind the rest of the EU, Australia and the US in the perceived openness of the government making information available to the general public.

The research was launchedahead of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's ‘Building Britain’s Digital Future’ speech yesterday (22 March), in which he outlined how citizens could better engage with government and how information can flow ‘more freely’.

The online survey of 438 respondents, which took place between 22 February and 8 March, also found that 61 percent of members believe that the government has more data on citizens than is necessary.

Furthermore, just 17 percent of members said the current legal and regulatory framework for data was adequate.

Elizabeth Sparrow, president of the Institute, said: “It is clear from this research that our members have concerns regarding how data is treated and accessed.

“Two-thirds of respondents thought that the state should make more public data available free of charge, however, there is still a perception of a lack of awareness from the public as to the importance of information.”

According to the survey, a massive 90 percent of members did not believe that citizens understood their data rights. Just 41 percent of members thought that citizens understood the value of their personal data.

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