UK reigns supreme in data transparency study

The Unted Kingdom is the world leader in data transparency, a recent report suggests.

The Open Data Barometer report, created by the World Wide Foundation, claims that the UK has come out on top when it comes to harnessing open data for social and economic benefit.

The UK is the only G7 country that has an open company registry, and one of only two countries to publish land ownership data in open formats.

Two years ago, all of the G7 countries pledged to be “open by default”. However, over half of them are still not publishing key datasets.

Out of 86 countries surveyed, more than 90 per cent keep locks on data that could be used to beat corruption or improve government services.

Inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who supported the report, has called for governments to honour their pledges and open up their data so that more power is put in the hands of citizens.

He also asked governments not to "shy away from publishing the very data that can be used to enhance accountability and trust".

"The G7 and G20 blazed a trail when they recognised open data as a crucial tool to strengthen transparency and fight corruption. Now they need to keep their promises to make critical areas like government spending and contracts open by default," he said in a statement, published on Wired.co.uk.

Berners-Lee wanted to draw attention to what he called the "unfair practice" of charging citizens to access public information collected with their tax resources.