How to guarantee the right to use PSI in the age of open data: Lessons from the data policy of South Korea

Sang Pil Yoon, Moon Ho Joo, Hun-Yeong Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


With increasing importance of data, the interest in the availability of public sector information (PSI) has also increased. Because of its public attributes, PSI directly impacts the national administration as well as the lives of citizens. With the changing technological environment, the value of data is observed to change along with the manner in which data exist and the manner in which data are handled. Further, the usage of PSI should be easy and safe in the age of open data. The relation between the state and citizen with respect to PSI should also be re-established. Therefore, the following questions arise: What is the new-era governmental role in PSI use? What is the policy direction that will ultimately guarantee the right to use PSI? South Korea (hereinafter referred to as "Korea") has one of the highest levels of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, and considerable amount of data has been collected through government-led policies. Because of such policies, Korea has demonstrated excellence in the United Nation's e-government survey, ITU (International Telecommunication Union)'s ICT development index, and OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)'s public data openness index. Korea is currently working on further upgrading its data policy to achieve data-based innovation throughout the country. Thus, the current situations that are faced by Korea and their case studies can be good subjects for research, advancing the innovation of PSI management and activating the right to use of PSI. Hence, based on the awareness of the problem, this study sought to introduce the key tasks of future data policies and propose the future direction of the PSI policy. Therefore, this study demonstrated based on the media theory that the management method of PSI changed according to the advancing technology. In addition, this study analyzed the nature of the legal relation that appears with a change in data management and attempted to derive the role of the government to enforce the law ultimately. To do this, we analyzed the role of the government as a data manager and the role of the law as the coordinator of legal rights. Also, by examining the changes in Korea's PSI policies and the responses experienced by Korea, we determined the essential elements that should be considered by the government for developing future data policies. Thus, the governments should be able to actively support the reuse of data and the participation of stakeholders; the law should go a step further and provide the basis for governments to actively encourage the use of PSI, protect privacy and security, and solve the disputes that arise in the overall process. Thus, the key elements of data management in the future will be the quality of data (accuracy and reliability), standardization of the data form (compatibility and availability), and data security (safety). This research results can be used as guidelines by the government; however, it has limitations in that it provides only key elements to increase citizen's right to use PSI in the open data era. After Korea's data usage legislation (the Legislation of Promotion of Data-based Administration) is implemented based on the above factors, new results can be derived through comparative analysis with the PSI policies that have been established overseas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-146
Number of pages16
JournalInformation Polity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1


  • data management
  • information disclosure
  • open data
  • Public sector information
  • reuse of PSI
  • right to use PSI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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