lunes, 10 de diciembre de 2012

Un país donde sus registros no se usan en interés público

Finally, we get to those countries that are completely closed, preventing even searches of companies without charge and without registration. These countries, which include Spain, Greece and Brazil, appear to treat the registers, not for the public benefit, but as an extension of the global business information services (Dun & Bradstreet, Bureau van Dijk, Experian, etc), who buy the data in bulk and resell to their corporate customers. The justification – that they can find entities who will pay for this data – misunderstands both the role of data and companies in the modern world, and the nature of the public good. There are many things the state could charge for (the police force, street lights, even the right to vote), but doing so would undermine both the state’s legitimacy and the wider society. Similarly with company data – this is data collected for a statutory purpose for the public benefit and should be treated accordingly – and to bring the old truism up to date, in the 21st century “Data Is The Currency Of Democracy”…
An example of a different approach to company data comes from New Zealand, where all the information on the company register is open for all, without charge, without registration, and without significant restrictions. In addition, there is a free API which allows access to and reuse of the underlying data (registration is required, in part because it can be used for making filings for companies, which are charged for). In addition, the entries on the register are much more detailed than on all the OGP countries we have examined, including directors, statutory filings and significant shareholders.

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