If you thought Chief Data Officers could only be found inside large enterprises, think again. The city of San Francisco has its own CDO, Joy Bonaguro, who is responsible for the city’s newly-announced open data strategic plan. The plan outlines the city’s future plans for open data- including, crucially, the creation of “process for accessing your individual data.”

The plan as a whole outlines six goals they hope to achieve over the next 6 years, with the overarching aim to “broaden the focus of open data from simply publishing to making it available in a manner that fosters better use of the data.” Goals include improving data quality and encouraging more data-driven decision making, as well as “a process for accessing data that the city holds about you”, to “increase transparency”.

Recent developments in the data science have sparked many to call for greater transparency around personal data collection- we’ve seen the FTC, White House advisers and individual senators calling for more robust data regulation. Whether or not national policy will ever be realised is another matter, and it’s encouraging to see both companies and individual states taking initiative in the regulation of sharing and protecting confidential data.

However, these developments will take several years to fully implement. “Given the distributed nature of individual data, we expect this to be a complex undertaking and we will focus on background research and planning in year one.”

Still, it’s encouraging to see one of the cities most synonymous with big data blazing the trail for greater transparency.

Read more here.
(Image credit: Flickr)

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