Information is the new infrastructure of society - FoI minister
Information is the new infrastructure of society, according to Freedom of Information minister, Michael Wills MP.
The former journalist told the Society of Editors that while technology was making information faster to access, the Government was acting responsibly with personal details.
He said: "Public information should be more accessible, not just to a chosen few, but to all. Whereas years ago information was difficult to obtain, now everything is available at the click of a button.
"Many people want to exercise power between elections as well as at them, and people are no longer as confident that the system enfranchises them as they once were.
"Parliament must be at the centre of the decision making of this democracy.
"Extraordinary new internet technologies are changing the relationships between newspapers and readers, broadcasters and viewers and politicians and their constituents.
"In many ways information is the new infrastructure of our society today.
"Its absolutely critical to ensure accountability of the state which is essential for a healthy democracy."
Mr Wills, who is Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, also reminded the conference that the Government was making positive changes to the Freedom of Information Act. It recently invested £350,000 to increase access to information for people making claims.
He said the solution was to balance privacy with benefits of data sharing, scrutiny and accountability.
"The media has always got their story but for members of the public that has not been the case," he said.
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