Experiences about opening data in private sector

Experiences about opening data in private sector

Ⅰ. Introduction

  Open data is the idea that data should be available freely for everyone to use and republish without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control. The concept of open data is not new; but a formalized definition is relatively new, and The Open Definition gives full details on the requirements for open data and content as follows:

  Availability and access: the data must be available as a whole with no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably by downloading over the internet. The data must also be available in a convenient and modifiable form.

  Reuse and redistribution: the data must be provided under terms that permit reuse and redistribution including the intermixing with other datasets. The data shall be machine-readable.

  Universal participation: everyone must be able to use, reuse and redistribute the data— which by means there should be no discrimination against fields of endeavor or against persons or groups. For example, “non-commercial” restrictions that would prevent “commercial” use, or restrictions of use for certain purposes are not allowed.

  In order to be in tune with international developmental trends, Taiwan passed an executive resolution in favor of promoting Open Government Data in November 2012. Through the release of government data, open data has grown significantly in Taiwan and Taiwan has come out on top among 122 countries and areas in the 2015 and 2016 Global Open Data Index[1].

  The result represented a major leap for Taiwan, however, progress is still to be made as most of the data are from the Government, and data from other territories, especially from private sector can rarely be seen. It is a pity that data from private sector has not being properly utilized and true value of such data still need to be revealed. The following research will place emphasis to enhance the value of private data and the strategies of boosting private sector to open their own data.

Ⅱ. Why open private data

  With the trend of Open Government Data recent years, countries are now starting to realize that Open Government Data is improving transparency, creating opportunities for social and commercial innovation, and opening the door to better engagement with citizens. But open data is not limited to Open Government Data. In fact, the private sector not only interacts with government data, but also produces a massive amount of data, much of which in need of utilized.

  According to the G20 open data policy agenda made in 2014, the potential economic value of open data for Australia is up to AUD 64 billion per annum, and the potential value of open data from private sector is around AUD 34 billion per annum.

Figure 1 Value of open data for Australia (AUD billion per annum)

Source: McKinsey Global Institute

  The purpose for opening data held by private entities and corporations is rooted in a broad recognition that private data has the potential to foster much public good. Openness of data for companies can translate into more efficient internal governance frameworks, enhanced feedback from workers and employees, improved traceability of supply chains, accountability to end consumers, and with better service and product delivery. Open Private Data is thus a true win-win for all with benefiting not only the governance but environmental and social gains.

  At the same time, a variety of constraints, notably privacy and security, but also proprietary interests and data protectionism on the part of some companies—hold back this potential.

Ⅲ. The cases of Open Private Data

  Syngenta AG, a global Swiss agribusiness that produces agrochemicals and seeds, has established a solid foundation for reporting on progress that relies on independent data collection and validation, assurance by 3rd party assurance providers, and endorsement from its implementing partners. Through the website, Syngenta AG has shared their datasets for agricultural with efficiency indicators for 3600 farms for selected agro-ecological zones and market segments in 42 countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America, North America and Asia. Such datasets are precious but Syngenta AG share them for free only with a Non-Commercial license which means users may copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format freely but may not use the material for commercial purposes.

Figure 2 Description and License for Open data of Syngenta AG

Source: http://www.syngenta.com

  Tokyo Metro is a rapid transit system in Tokyo, Japan has released information such as train location and delay times for all lines as open data. The company held an Open Data Utilization Competition from 12 September to 17 November, 2014 to promote development of an app using this data and continues to provide the data even after the competition ended. However, many restrictions such as non-commercial use, or app can only be used for Tokyo Metro lines has weakened the efficiency of open data, it is still valued as an initial step of open private data.

Figure 3 DM of Tokyo Metro Open data Contest

Source: https://developer.tokyometroapp.jp/

Ⅳ. How to enhance Open Private Data

  Open Private Data is totally different from Open Government Data since “motivation” is vital for private institutions to release their own data. Unlike the government data can be disclosed and free to use via administrative order or legislation, all of the data controlled by private institutions can only be opened under their own will. The initiative for open data therefore shall focus on how to motivate private sectors releasing their own data-by ensuring profit and minimizing risks.

  Originally, open data shall be available freely for everyone to use without any restrictions, and data owners may profit indirectly as users utilizing their data creating apps, etc. but not profit from open data itself. The income is unsteady and data owners therefore lose their interest to open data. As a countermeasure, it is suggested to make data chargeable though this may contradict to the definition of open data. When data owners can charge by usage or by time, the motivation of open data would arise when open data is directly profitable.

  Data owners may also worry about many legal issues when releasing their own data. They may not care about whether profitable or not but afraid of being involved into litigation disputes such as intellectual property infringement, unfair competition, etc. It is very important for data owners to have a well protected authorization agreement when releasing data, but not all of them is able to afford the cost of making agreement for each data sharing. Therefore, a standard sample of contract that can be widely adopted plays a very important role for open private data.

  A data sharing platform would be a solution to help data owners sharing their own data. It can not only provide a convenient way to collect profit from data sharing but help data owners avoiding legal risks with the platform’s standard agreement. All the data owners have to do is just to transfer their own data to the platform without concern since the platform would handle other affairs.

Ⅴ. Conclusion

  Actively engaging the private sector in the open data value-chain is considered an innovation imperative as it is highly related to the development of information economy. Although many works still need to be done such as identifying mechanisms for catalyzing private sector engagement, these works can be done by organizations such as the World Bank and the Centre for Open Data Enterprise. Private-public collaboration is also important when it comes to strengthening the global data infrastructure, and the benefits of open data are diverse and range from improved efficiency of public administrations to economic growth in the private sector. However, open private data is not the goal but merely a start for open data revolution. It is to add variation for other organizations and individuals to analyze to create innovations while individuals, private sectors, or government will benefit from that innovation and being encouraged to release much more data to strengthen this data circulation.


[1] Global Open Data Index, https://index.okfn.org/place/(Last visited: May 15, 2017)

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The Institutionalization of the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Committee - Triumph of Digital Constitutionalism: A Legal Positivism Analysis

The Institutionalization of the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Committee - Triumph of Digital Constitutionalism: A Legal Positivism Analysis 2023/07/13 The Legislative Yuan recently passed an amendment to the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Act, which resulted in the institutionalization of the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Commission (hereunder the “PDPC”)[1]. This article aims to analyze the significance of this institutionalization from three different perspectives: legal positivism, digital constitutionalism, and Millian liberalism. By examining these frameworks, we can better understand the constitutional essence of sovereignty, the power dynamics among individuals, businesses, and governments, and the paradox of freedom that the PDPC addresses through governance and trust. I.Three Layers of Significance 1.Legal Positivism The institutionalization of the PDPC fully demonstrates the constitutional essence of sovereignty in the hands of citizens. Legal positivism emphasizes the importance of recognizing and obeying (the sovereign, of which it is obeyed by all but does not itself obey to anyone else, as Austin claims) laws that are enacted by legitimate authorities[2]. In this context, the institutionalization of the PDPC signifies the recognition of citizens' rights to control their personal data and the acknowledgment of the sovereign in protecting their privacy. It underscores the idea that the power to govern personal data rests with the individuals themselves, reinforcing the principles of legal positivism regarding sovereign Moreover, legal positivism recognizes the authority of the state in creating and enforcing laws. The institutionalization of the PDPC as a specialized commission with the power to regulate and enforce personal data protection laws represents the state's recognition of the need to address the challenges posed by the digital age. By investing the PDPC with the authority to oversee the proper handling and use of personal data, the state acknowledges its responsibility to protect the rights and interests of its citizens. 2.Digital Constitutionalism The institutionalization of the PDPC also rebalances the power structure among individuals, businesses, and governments in the digital realm[3]. Digital constitutionalism refers to the principles and norms that govern the relationship between individuals and the digital sphere, ensuring the protection of rights and liberties[4]. With the rise of technology and the increasing collection and use of personal data, individuals often find themselves at a disadvantage compared to powerful entities such as corporations and governments[5]. However, the PDPC acts as a regulatory body that safeguards individuals' interests, rectifying the power imbalances and promoting digital constitutionalism. By establishing clear rules and regulations regarding the collection, use, and transfer of personal data, the PDPC may set a framework that ensures the protection of individuals' privacy and data rights. It may enforce accountability among businesses and governments, holding them responsible for their data practices and creating a level playing field where individuals have a say in how their personal data is handled. 3.Millian Liberalism The need for the institutionalization of the PDPC embodies the paradox of freedom, as raised in John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty”[6], where Mill recognizes that absolute freedom can lead to the infringement of others' rights and well-being. In this context, the institutionalization of the PDPC acknowledges the necessity of governance to mitigate the risks associated with personal data protection. In the digital age, the vast amount of personal data collected and processed by various entities raises concerns about privacy, security, and potential misuse. The institutionalization of the PDPC represents a commitment to address these concerns through responsible governance. By setting up rules, regulations, and enforcement mechanisms, the PDPC ensures that individuals' freedoms are preserved without compromising the rights and privacy of others. It strikes a delicate balance between individual autonomy and the broader social interest, shedding light on the paradox of freedom. II.Legal Positivism: Function and Authority of the PDPC 1.John Austin's Concept of Legal Positivism: Sovereignty, Punishment, Order To understand the function and authority of the PDPC, we turn to John Austin's concept of legal positivism. Austin posited that laws are commands issued by a sovereign authority and backed by sanctions[7]. Sovereignty entails the power to make and enforce laws within a given jurisdiction. In the case of the PDPC, its institutionalization by the Legislative Yuan reflects the recognition of its authority to create and enforce regulations concerning personal data protection. The PDPC, as an independent and specialized committee, possesses the necessary jurisdiction and competence to ensure compliance with the law, administer punishments for violations, and maintain order in the realm of personal data protection. 2.Dire Need for the Institutionalization of the PDPC There has been a dire need for the establishment of the PDPC following the Constitutional Court's decision in August 2022, holding that the government needed to establish a specific agency in charge of personal data-related issues[8]. This need reflects John Austin's concept of legal positivism, as it highlights the demand for a legitimate and authoritative body to regulate and oversee personal data protection. The PDPC's institutionalization serves as a response to the growing concerns surrounding data privacy, security breaches, and the increasing reliance on digital platforms. It signifies the de facto recognition of the need for a dedicated institution to safeguard the individual’s personal data rights, reinforcing the principles of legal positivism. Furthermore, the institutionalization of the PDPC demonstrates the responsiveness of the legislative branch to the evolving challenges posed by the digital age. The amendment to the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Act and the subsequent institutionalization of the PDPC are the outcomes of a democratic process, reflecting the will of the people and their desire for enhanced data protection measures. It signifies a commitment to uphold the rule of law and ensure the protection of citizens' rights in the face of emerging technologies and their impact on privacy. 3.Authority to Define Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Data Upon the establishment of the PDPC, it's authority to define what constitutes a cross-border transfer of personal data under Article 21 of the Personal Data Protection Act will then align with John Austin's theory on order. According to Austin, laws bring about order by regulating behavior and ensuring predictability in society. By granting the PDPC the power to determine cross-border data transfers, the legal framework brings clarity and consistency to the process. This promotes order by establishing clear guidelines and standards, reducing uncertainty, and enhancing the protection of personal data in the context of international data transfers. The PDPC's authority in this regard reflects the recognition of the need to regulate and monitor the cross-border transfer of personal data to protect individuals' privacy and prevent unauthorized use or abuse of their information. It ensures that the transfer of personal data across borders adheres to legal and ethical standards, contributing to the institutionalization of a comprehensive framework for cross-border data transfer. III.Conclusion In conclusion, the institutionalization of the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Committee represents the convergence of legal positivism, digital constitutionalism, and Millian liberalism. It signifies the recognition of citizens' sovereignty over their personal data, rebalances power dynamics in the digital realm, and addresses the paradox of freedom through responsible governance. By analyzing the PDPC's function and authority in the context of legal positivism, we understand its role as a regulatory body to maintain order and uphold the principles of legal positivism. The institutionalization of the PDPC serves as a milestone in Taiwan's commitment to protect individuals' personal data and safeguard the digital rights. In essence, the institutionalization of the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Committee represents a triumph of digital constitutionalism, where individuals' rights and interests are safeguarded, and power imbalances are rectified. It also embodies the recognition of the paradox of freedom and the need for responsible governance in the digital age in Taiwan. [1] Lin Ching-yin & Evelyn Yang, Bill to establish data protection agency clears legislative floor, CNA English News, FOCUS TAIWAN, May 16, 2023, https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202305160014 (last visited, July 13, 2023). [2] Legal positivism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/legal-positivism/?utm_source=fbia (last visited July 13, 2023). [3] Edoardo Celeste, Digital constitutionalism: how fundamental rights are turning digital, (2023): 13-36, https://doras.dcu.ie/28151/1/2023_Celeste_DIGITAL%20CONSTITUTIONALISM_%20HOW%20FUNDAMENTAL%20RIGHTS%20ARE%20TURNING%20DIGITAL.pdf (last visited July 3, 2023). [4] GIOVANNI DE GREGORIO, DIGITAL CONSTITUTIONALISM IN EUROPE: REFRAMING RIGHTS AND POWERS IN THE ALGORITHMIC SOCIETY 218 (2022). [5] Celeste Edoardo, Digital constitutionalism: how fundamental rights are turning digital (2023), https://doras.dcu.ie/28151/1/2023_Celeste_DIGITAL%20CONSTITUTIONALISM_%20HOW%20FUNDAMENTAL%20RIGHTS%20ARE%20TURNING%20DIGITAL.pdf (last visited July 13, 2023). [6]JOHN STUART MILL,On Liberty (1859), https://openlibrary-repo.ecampusontario.ca/jspui/bitstream/123456789/1310/1/On-Liberty-1645644599.pdf (last visited July 13, 2023). [7] Legal positivism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/legal-positivism/?utm_source=fbia (last visited July 13, 2023). [8] Lin Ching-yin & Evelyn Yang, Bill to establish data protection agency clears legislative floor, CNA English News, FOCUS TAIWAN, May 16, 2023, https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202305160014 (last visited, July 13, 2023).

The Status of Taiwan's Regulations Concerning with Access to Biological Resources

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Currently, many countries and regional international organizations already set up ABS system, such as Andean Community, African Union, Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), Australia, South Africa, and India, all are enthusiastic with the establishment of the regulations regarding the access management of biological resources and genetic resources. On the other hand, there are still many countries only use traditional and existing conservation-related regulations to manage the access of biological resources. Since it has been more than 10 years that the regulation of access to biological resources and benefit sharing has been developed in some countries, how is Taiwan's current situation regarding this issue? Taiwan's Existing Regulations on the Access to Bioloical Resources In terms of regulations, Taiwan's existing management style of the access to biological resources is similar to that of the US and the EU. It refers to the existing regulations on environmental protection and conservation, and evaluates from the perspective of environmental protection to control and manage the exploitation and application of the related biological resources. These regulations include the Wildlife Conservation Act, theNational Park Law, the Forestry Act, the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, and the Aboriginal Basic Act. The paragraphs below describe the contents of the acts mentioned that are related to the access to biological resources. 1 、 Wildlife Conservation Act According to the Wildlife Conservation Act, the Protected Species and the products made of cannot be hunted, traded, owned, imported, exported, raised, bred, and processed unless the number of protected wildlife has exceeded the amount the environment permits, or carry the objectives of academic research and education with the permits of central or regional authorities. As for the hunting of General Wildlife, pre-application and approval is needed with the exception of projects based on the objectives of academic research or education. In addition, the import and export of the living wildlife and the products of Protected Wildlife are restricted to the condition of being permitted by management authority. With respect to the import and export of living Protected Wildlife, Academic research institutions and colleagues are the only person who can seek for the approval of management authority before they proceed. 2 、 National Park Law The design and management of Taiwan's national parks are based on the regulations listed in the National Park Law with the purpose of protecting our country's exclusive natural scenery, wildlife and historical spots. Based on the properties and the nature of resources, the national park management structures the preserved area into general control area, playground and resting area, spot of historical interest, special landmark area, and ecological protection area. Ecological protection area refers to the areas where the natural surroundings, creatures, the society they live and propagate are strictly protected only for the research of ecology. According to the regulation of National Park Law, inside the national park area, it is prohibited to hunt animals, fish, take off flowers or trees, not to mention the behaviours that are prohibited by the management authority. Exceptions are made based on the conditions of preserved areas and for the research purposes. In the general control area or resting area, the national park authority allows fishing or other activities agreed by the authority. However, these activities are prohibited in the preserved area of historical interest, special landmark area, and ecological protection area. To suit special purposes, in the special landmark area or ecological protection area, collection of specimens is allowed subject to the approval of authority. Under the purpose of academic research, better management of public safety, and special management of national park, the Ministry of the Interior will permit the collection of specimen. However, to enter the ecological protection area, one must obtain the permission of authority. 3 、 Forestry Act To protect the forest resources and to maximize the public welfare and economic effectiveness, some of the properties are classified as forestry land and being managed by authority. Based on the Forestry Act, management authority has to restrict the area of cutting timber and to identify the area or period of restricted digging of greensward, tree roots, and grass roots, based on the condition of the forest. In addition, to maintain the current ecological environment in the forest, and to preserve the diversity of species, identification of natural preserved area is needed inside the forestland. The entrance and exit of human and vehicles are controlled based on the nature of the resources inside the preserve area. Unless obtaining the approval from the management authority, not a single activity of damaging, logging or digging soil, stones, greensward and roots is allowed. Furthermore, any unauthorized activity of collecting specimen inside the forest recreation area and natural reserve will be fined. Collecting flowers and plants in these areas, or trespassing the natural reserve will also be fined. Only the activities taken by the aborigines to sustain their living or accommodate their customs are not restricted. 4 、 Cultural Heritage Preservation Act The objectives of setting up the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act are to preserve and apply the cultural resources, to enrich the spiritual lives of citizens, and to add glory to the existing diverse cultures. The Cultural Heritage Preservation Act classifies the natural landscape and scenery as cultural assets. Vistas of Natural Culture refer to the natural areas, landforms, plants and mineral which contain the values of preservation. It can be further grouped into natural preserved area and natural monuments. Since the natural monuments include the unusual plants and mineral, it is connected to the management of biological resources. According to the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, unless approved by the management authority, it is prohibited to collect, log, destroy the plants or bio resources classified as natural monuments or trespass into the area of natural preserve. For the purposes of academic research, or for the memorial ceremony of aboriginal custom, research institute and the aborigines can collect the natural monuments without the approval of authority. 5 、 Aboriginal Basic Act To protect the basic rights of the aborigines, and to sustain and develop the aboriginal society, the Aboriginal Basic Act was designed and enacted. The government not only admits the aborigine's rights in lands and natural resources, but also permits the non-profit behaviour such as hunting of wildlife, colleting of wild plants and fungi for the objective of complying with traditional culture, ceremony or private uses. In addition, the Aboriginal Basic Act provides the requirement of Prior Informed Consent (PIC) to require government or private individual to inform the aborigines before they proceed with land development, resource exploitation, ecological preservation, and academic research in the land where the aborigines live. They need to consult and obtain the aborigines' agreement or participation, and to share the related interests derived from this project. In the case of restricting the aborigine's right of the use of land or natural resources by law, the government,shall consult with the aborigines or the tribe and reach the agreement. When the government wish to design and establish national park, national scenic area, forestry area, ecological protection area, recreational area, or other resource management authorities, the government should obtain the agreement from the local aborigines and to build up the co-management mechanism.

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