I hope this is the right place to ask. I thought that a forum about open data would probably attract people who know about how open data is (or NOT is) :)
we are a company that (among other things) hosts a lot of data from different companies in the same business.Those are 100% pure commercial activities. For examples sake, let's say our clients are all cardealers.
Each client has his/her's own database. Those databases reside on our servers. We create applications that help them manage their sales. We know exactly what each of the cardealers is doing; how many red cars that dealer sold, how many blue cars that dealer sold, how many sportscars, average price, what town, extra safety-measures sold..... You get my drift.
We are thinking about aggregating that data, creating new data:
- Town X loves red cars but hates sportscars
- Town Y loves red sportscars and loves sportscars
- Town Z spends noticably more on extra safety-measures
If that data is aggregated, anonimised in such a way that it is no longer possible to determine who sold which car to whom, could we consider that data our own? Can we do with that data as we please?
Would we be allowed to:
- make that data available commercially? (sell it to car manufacturers)
- make that data available non-commercially? (make it publicly available)
- make that data available for explicit non-profit organisations? (give it to organisations dedicated to making our streets safer)
After all, we feel we create new data that did not exist if it were not for us. Therefore, we should be allowed to do with it what suits us. But is that so? Who can tell me what rules, morals, ethics or laws apply?
Thanks for thinking with me! Henro