Course Details

Open Data: Implications for Government, Law, and Society

In 2014, Congress unanimously passed, and President Obama signed, the most sweeping government management reform in a quarter-century. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act, directed the executive branch to transform all of its spending information from disconnected documents into open, standardized data. In May 2017, the DATA Act's main deadline arrived, and the Treasury Department began publishing all executive-branch spending information as a single, searchable open data set. The DATA Act is part of a global move toward standardizing and publishing many domains of government information beyond just spending, a shift referred to as the open data movement. Open data promises to change the way citizens interact with their government by improving the breadth and depth of information available to voters. The transition from documents to data also promises to improve government management: as public-sector leaders gain access to searchable data on spending and operations, it becomes easier to deploy analytical tools to inform decisions. However, the most economically consequential (and still mostly theoretical) impact of the open data movement will be to streamline interaction between government and business. This course will summarize the first decade of the open data movement in the United States and elsewhere, outline significant information domains where the shift from documents toward data has gained momentum, consider potential challenges in security and privacy, and zero in on the current and theoretical consequences for the relationship between government and business. Assessment for this course will take place via an in-class scoping exercise, with brief oral presentations by each participant.

Catalog Number: REGLAW 950-0


Course History

Spring 2018
Title: Open Data: Implications for Government, Law, and Society
Faculty: Hollister, Hudson
Section: 1     Credits: 0.5
Capacity: 24     Actual: 11

Spring 2017
Title: Open Data: How Information Standardization and Publication are Changing Government and Law
Faculty: Hollister, Hudson
Section: 1     Credits: 0.5
Capacity: 24     Actual: 12

Spring 2016
Title: Open Data: How Information Standardization and Publication are Changing Government and Law
Faculty: Hollister, Hudson
Section: 1     Credits: 0.5
Capacity: 24     Actual: 10