Open data policy mandates that government proactively publish its data
online for the public to reuse. It is a radically different approach to transparency than traditional right-to-know strategies as embodied in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) legislation in that it involves ex ante rather than ex post disclosure of whole datasets. Although both open data and FOIA deal with information sharing, the normative essence of open data is participation rather than litigation. By fostering public engagement, open data shifts the relationship between state and citizen from a monitorial to a collaborative one, centered around using information to solve problems together.
Noveck, Beth Simone
"Rights-Based and Tech-Driven: Open Data, Freedom of Information, and the Future of Government Transparency,"
Yale Human Rights and Development Journal: Vol. 19
, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol19/iss1/1