Just before the end of 2016 the German Federal Ministry of Interior presented the first Open Data act. This act, which amends the E-Government Act, intends to make the publication of Open Government Data an ‘Open by default’ requirement for the German government. By including Open Data into the legislation, a legal basis for Open Data is provided, making it clearer for both data users and providers what has to be released.
With the enhanced legal basis for Open Data, the German Digital Association Bitkom expects to see a multitude of beneficial developments like new products and services which can bring direct benefits to citizens. For the private sector, the association expects new growth areas in the context of digital transformation and a more efficient management, thanks to more and better information. According to the German Ministry of Interior, this will generate economic gains of up to 130 billion euros over the next ten years.
To align the Open Data act with the needs of users, the government presented its draft to collect feedback from the community. For example, The Open Knowledge Foundation Germany is already collecting comments on the draft to organise the feedback. They will also present a more detailed analysis on the draft later this year which will help in the formulation of a clear opinion on it.