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Time for repealing the state data privatization law is running out

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Where’s your data? Your taxes are being used by state government to collect data on crime, infrastructure, public health, education, the environment … and a host of other public matters.
Other states and the federal government are beginning to make their data freely available for online download, so that developers, researchers and advocacy groups can look at it, analyze it and make it available in useful applications. After all, the public paid for the data and the public owns it.  But not in New Mexico. Under current New Mexico law, state data can be privatized – imprisoned behind a paywall and subject to strict copyright restrictions.
HB 406, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Cervantes, would change that. HB 406 would repeal privatization and establish a free, open, fair right of access to public data.
Any information that isn’t protected by law – such as Social Security numbers and other sensitive info – would be available to anyone who asks for it, for no more than the actual cost of extracting and copying it.
The bill has strong bipartisan support, bearing signatures from representatives Thomas Taylor, Jim Trujillo, Nate Gentry, Al Park and Bill O’Neill. And the Santa Fe New Mexican recently urged support for the bill on its editorial page.
Time is running out in the session. Help us support HB 406. Please contact your representatives in Santa Fe and tell them that you support open data in New Mexico.

Sarah Welsh
Executive Director
New Mexico Foundation
for Open Government