Cyprus Mail

Public data release vital, says finance minister

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides addressing the Opend Data day event on Thursday

The release of public data to the public “is a big step towards the modernisation of the country”, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides said at the “Open Data Day” event on Thursday.

“Publishing important public data will give a boost to Cyprus and will fuel its progress, especially when it comes to technology and research,” he said.

“The initiative underlines the value of open data and its potential to be utilised by all citizens for the benefit of our community. The data produced by the state does not belong in shelves and archives, but to our citizens.”

He added that the whole process of collecting and cataloging data has been challenging at times, considering it has never been attempted before and needed the help of several employees at the ministry,

Petrides said the EU law on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, called European Open Data Directive, will be implemented in Cyprus by July 2021, along with an existing legislation on the reutilisation of public data which has been in place in Cyprus since 2015.

According to the latest European Commission report on open data for 2019, Cyprus ranked fourth with an overall score of 80 per cent in the “fast-tracking category of open data-friendly countries” among 32 nations.

“The prospects are huge, we as a state have to do our job and continue to make public data available to the public, which will allow us to reap the benefits of an open society,” Petrides said.

Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy Kyriacos Kokkinos added that the competitiveness of the country’s businesses and economy in general, is based on the proper use of data.

“Data management will be vital for everyone in the next years, regardless of one’s job, and schools should teach students about data management skills,” he said.

“Open data is the natural evolution of research. It promotes collaboration among people and the faster spread of information and knowledge.”

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