On the way to a Federal Government data policy

Bern, 22.03.2017 - Switzerland should have a coherent legal framework for data and the handling of data, and the country should position itself as an attractive location for creating added-value using data. Accordingly, the Federal Council defined high-level goals at its meeting on 22 March 2017 and tasked the Federal Administration to draft the initial benchmarks of a data policy. The Federal Council also noted that data is the raw material of the digital economy and the digital society. Appropriate datasets should therefore be made available for added value re-use. Development of a data policy is an integral component of the "Digital Switzerland" Strategy adopted by the Federal Council in April 2016.

After a debate, the Federal Council defined the following high-level goals for a coherent and future-oriented data policy in Switzerland: promoting the attractiveness of Switzerland for added value data re-use, creation of a modern legal framework for handling data, opening up of datasets (public sector information PSI) as the raw material for the digital society and the digital economy. As foreseen in its targets for 2017, the Federal Council intends to set the first benchmarks of its data policy by the end of this year. It has tasked the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), together with all other Departments and the Federal Chancellery, with establishing these benchmarks.

The Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) should analyse the legal situation in relation to re-use of personal data, factual data and anonymized data by the end of 2017. The Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) is currently inventorising Switzerland's public sector information in order to identify data suitable for publication on opendata.swiss. By mid-2017, the FDHA will evaluate this work and inform the Federal Council. The results of the tasks entrusted to the FDJP and the FDHA will be incorporated into the first benchmarks of the data policy which is to be developed.

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The Federal Council

General Secretariat of the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications; General Secretariat DETEC

Federal Office of Communications