On May 17, 2021, the Vedomosti newspaper in the Technologies section published an article by Valery Kodachigov “The Ministry of Digital Development Proposes to Create a Government Big Data Operator”. The author writes: “The government will provide big data accumulated by ministries and departments to commercial developers of artificial intelligence (AI). Such a proposal is contained in a preliminary version of the concept of access to government data sets, presented by the Ministry of Digital Development at a meeting of the working group of the ANO Digital Economy. A specialized agency will provide access to government big data – in the draft concept it is called the operator of government data sets. It will form data sets based on the requests of AI developers, carry out their anonymization and depersonalization, and will also ensure the creation and operation of infrastructure for access to government data sets. Also, the government operator will decide what data can be provided to a particular customer. For example, big data with varying degrees of secrecy will be shared with organizations accredited by specialized agencies (for example, the Federal Security Service), as it follows from the materials of the Ministry of Digital Development”.
The newspaper’s editors asked Yuri Hohlov, chairman of the Board of the Institute of the Information Society, for a comment on this publication. According to him, “there are several approaches to providing access to government data in the world: the United States adheres to decentralized access to such data, including by attracting non-government operators to ensure the functioning of government systems; in China, on the contrary, access is strictly centralized; in the EU it is also planned to develop the market, first of all, for industrial data by creating intermediary companies that will provide secure access, including to government big data. Russia needs to choose something from this or form its own national model for providing access to government data sets. One operator of government data sets in Russia is clearly not enough – he alone will not be able to guarantee the quality of data sets formed from the information systems of numerous departments. The quality of the data should be the responsibility of those authorities and local self-governments where this data is generated within the government functions or as a part of the provision of services”.
Illustration: Evgeny Razumny / Vedomosti