The US Government and Data Transparency

One of the core tenants of data science is the idea of transparency, both in the sense that data collection methods should be open to scrutiny, and that the results of data collection should be shared with the general public. In 2009, President Obama appointed Vivek Kundra as the United States’ first Federal Chief Information Officer.  The position was established to oversee the creation of a new website, data.gov.  The site currently hosts 186,000 data sets — ranging from crime reporting to college affordability statistics — that are primarily generated by the federal government, although state and local government agencies are starting to post their data as well.  Data.gov has been developed on Github, while being powered by the open-source applications CKAN and WordPress, and represents a new level of…


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