July 9th, 2013
07:22 AM ET
1 year ago

Obama's technology guru on opening the data vault: Todd Park on 6 ways non-secret government data has been put to work

(CNN) - Just back from a foreign trip and a holiday vacation, the president returned to work Monday by talking about government efficiency.

A snooze, right? But not this time. What we found fascinating is this new crop of companies Obama mentioned that have taken advantage of all sorts of government data that's recently been put online. These companies have downloaded it (for free) and created new services in health care, credit card protections and medical care that make life easier for you and me.

As the president put it Monday: "What's happening is entrepreneurs and business owners are now using that data - the people's data, to create jobs and solve problems that government can't solve by itself or can't do as efficiently."

On the politics, we grant, this was an oddly technocratic note for Obama to hit. Given the violence in Egypt and inaction in Washington it seemed a little small ball.

Maybe it was meant to remind the public the executive branch is hard at work, even if Washington has ground to a halt. Or maybe to make the case the administration supports information sharing even if the NSA controversy suggests it's pro-secrecy. Or to prove government can work despite glitches in the rollout of health care reform.

Whatever the politics, we liked the open-data programs. So we asked their champion, the president's Chief Technology Officer Todd Parks, to explain how it works.

Companies Park discussed:
Bill Guard
billguard.com
Opower
iTriage
Health and Human Services


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Is this the reason for Condonement of delay??? Obama said he would postpone for one year for mplimenting one of provision–50 or more employees that companies hire. It is Wrong–I am a core democrat I say it is WRONG. Better wake up and fix it.

    July 9, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Smoke and mirrors. What you see, is NOT what you are getting.

    July 9, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "What's happening is entrepreneurs and business owners are now using that data – the people's data, to create jobs and solve problems that government can't solve by itself or can't do as efficiently
    -------------------------------------------------
    Most forward thinking President in a long time. This makes sense.
    In regards to Egypt: President Obama is president of the USA. He is handling the business of the USA. He is not a citizen of Egypt.
    Put down the Haterade. This is what being President of ONE country -not the world's biggest arrogant buttinsky- looks like.

    July 9, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. Jay

    they're using our data to make them money. Also, Health and Human Services, isn't this a governmental department, paid for by tax payer money??? Yeah, he's open with some data that benefits his agenda!

    July 9, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  5. Peoples State of Illinois

    @Jay

    they're using our data to make them money. Also, Health and Human Services, isn't this a governmental department, paid for by tax payer money??? Yeah, he's open with some data that benefits his agenda!
    --------
    "Health and Human Services", is the new name for the welfare department. They are pushing this new name real hard in effort to remove the bad connotations of people that are capable of working, living on government handouts paid for by our taxes.

    July 9, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Some of you need to sit back and drag breath.
    Health and Human Services has ALWAYS been the name of what has been dubbed "the welfare department" just like Affordable Care Act has been dubbed "Obamacare".

    July 9, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Guess

    Does this mean i have to move out of my moms basement?

    July 9, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. Peoples State of Illinois

    "The worst enemies of enduring freedom for all may be certain folk who demand incessantly more liberty for themselves." –historian Russell Kirk (1918-1994)

    July 9, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |