Author archives

Clinical Associate Professor Beth Cate’s expertise includes intellectual property law, data governance, research regulation, and constitutional law. Before joining the faculty of Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, she practiced law in the public and private sectors for 20 years. Her professional experience includes a two-year clerkship with the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals; litigation and international trade work in the Washington, D.C. firm of McKenna & Cuneo (now part of Dentons LLC); regulatory work as in-house counsel to Eli Lilly and Company; and regulatory and constitutional advising and litigation management as Associate General Counsel to Indiana University.

US takes tentative steps toward opening up government data

At the beginning of this year, President Trump signed into law the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary Government Data Act, requiring that nonsensitive government data be made available in machine-readable, open formats by default. As researchers who study data governance and cyber law [Anjanette Raymond, Beth Cate and Scott Shackelford] we are excited by the possibilities of the new act. But much effort is needed to fill in missing details – especially since these data can be used in unpredictable or unintended ways. The federal government would benefit from considering lessons learned from open government activities in other countries and at state and local levels.

Subjects: Big Data, Civil Liberties, Congress, Cyberlaw, Digital Archives, Freedom of Information, Government Resources, Legal Research, Legislative, Privacy, Public Records