Home IssueOpen Data OPEN Government Data Act Signed into Law; Establishes U.S. as Leader in Open Data

OPEN Government Data Act Signed into Law; Establishes U.S. as Leader in Open Data

by Daniel Castro

WASHINGTON—The Center for Data Innovation today applauded President Trump for signing into law the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, included as Title II of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (H.R. 4174). The Center issued the following statement from its director, Daniel Castro:

The OPEN Government Data Act is a major bipartisan victory for open data. It is now the law of the land that government data should be freely available and accessible to everyone by default.

Open data has enormous value for businesses, journalists, academics, civil society groups, and even other government agencies. These organizations use the vast supply of data the federal government makes freely available in open formats online to develop innovative products and services, make important business decisions, conduct research, and ensure accountability and oversight in government.

The Center for Data Innovation has long called for comprehensive federal legislation to define the publication of open data as a permanent responsibility of the U.S. government. The OPEN Government Data Act will ensure that the federal government releases valuable data sets, follows best practices in data management, and commits to making data available to the public in a non-proprietary and electronic format.

This law is a major achievement for the open data community, and by passing this law, the United States has established itself as one of the global leaders in open data.

There is a lot of important work ahead to implement this legislation, and we look forward to working with the government as it makes data available to benefit generations to come.


The Center for Data Innovation conducts high-quality, independent research and educational activities on the impact of the increased use of information on the economy and society. In addition, the Center for Data Innovation formulates and promotes pragmatic public policies designed to enable data-driven innovation in the public and private sector, create new economic opportunities, and improve quality of life. The Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute affiliated with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. For more about the Center, visit datainnovation.org.

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