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Microsoft wants to open private-sector data for the public good

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Microsoft has become a founding member of the Industry Data for Society Partnership (IDSP) along with GitHub, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, LinkedIn, Northumbrian Water Group, R2 Factory, and UK Power Networks. The organization was formed to make private-sector data open and accessible to help solve big societal issues such as sustainability and inclusive economic growth.

“Through the IDSP, we will work to advance private-sector data sharing and collaboration. We will share best practices and lessons learned from past efforts to publish and collaborate on open data, while seeking new ways to contribute,” Microsoft said, explaining the new initiative. “The IDSP will also serve as a forum to engage with researchers, academics, nonprofits and the public sector in putting private-sector data to work.”

Highlighting how effective open private-sector data can be, Microsoft pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic. It said data from industry, organizations, and governments were shared publicly to the benefit of researchers and policymakers helping to resolve the crisis sooner. Microsoft says this level of openness has not transferred over to other issues like climate change but through the IDSP it hopes to change that.

Right now, the IDSP only has seven members but it’s likely that this number will grow as other like-minded organizations, businesses, and governments take notice and decide they agree with the platform. You can learn more about the initiative on the Industry Data for Society Partnership website.

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