The Opportunity Project: It’s From The Government & it’s Here to Help You. Or is it?

The Opportunity Project: It’s From The Government & it’s Here to Help You. Or is it?

- in Features, Grumpy Educators


With the passage of the OPEN Government Data Act in January 2019, data interoperability of federal governmental agencies to/from each other can occur. This was seen as good bipartisan legislation which will help citizens and protect data. Many privacy organizations supported this legislation which they contended allowed the use of open data while protecting privacy. Many activists (non-paid individuals not connected with funded organizations) did not agree with these talking points as legislative promises from politicians and private organizations have proven to be false (“you can keep your doctor” and “Common Core is state led”). Here is a rebuttal document countering the assurances that the use of open data should be allowed and the protections in the legislation are sufficient .

It is now allowable and encouraged by the Federal Government that personal data access occur not only between governmental agencies, but private organizations may/should access information as well. The Opportunity Project is the program launched in the Obama Administration and signed into law by President Trump to create the access of open data and programs for private/public partnerships for “building stronger ladders of opportunity for all”. From the Federal News Network in Census Opportunity Project to launch ‘sprints’ on future workforce, 2020 count:

The Census Bureau on Friday showcased its work connecting agencies that produce treasure troves of data with industry, academia and local communities that can act on that data.

“Washington is a town with lots of data, but little information,” Patrick Pizzella, the Labor Department’s deputy secretary, said. “This is a bit of our challenge, and your challenge: Finding a way to converting the data you’re accumulating — a constant amount of it — and turning it into information so managers can make smart and informed decisions.”

Later this month, Pizzella said the Labor Department will formalize its data board and announce the appointment of a chief data officer within the agency — two major deliverables from the OPEN Government Data Act President Donald Trump signed into law in January.

Drew Zachary, the director and co-founder of The Opportunity Project, said the public-private partnership helps “put data to work for people” — turning government information into tools and actions that make an impact on the public.

The data interoperability between this public/private partnership has helped more than 30 federal agencies and 100 partner companies, universities and local groups build more than 70 public-facing digital tools.

Neil Jacobs, the assistant secretary of Commerce for environmental observation and prediction, carrying out the role of the undersecretary of Commerce for oceans and atmosphere, said the agency has worked with cloud vendors to put its data into the hands of startups and businesses. That data, Jacobs said, could help users create ideas for businesses and help boost the startup economy[…]

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