[Euronews] Europarl Hackathon: 48 hours to free European Parliament data

Imagining a hackathon concocts images of young hackers high on coffee, red-eyed after a sleepless night, trying to illegally hijack websites. But the reality is much more prosaic. A hackathon gets developers together with, depending on the goal, complementary profiles to fulfil a project within a given time – generally 24 or 48 hours. In this case the goal was trying to make sense of reams of data released by European institutions. It’s especially important with the European elections on the horizon. […]

On the other side of the room, Thomas Bouchet, from the French organization La Quadrature du Net, with a volunteer’s help, improves the organisation’s Memopol tool, designed to track MEPs’ voting habits. […]

All participants share one concern. It shows on the stickers that cover the laptops and which can be heard in every conversation: open data. Open data is data accessible to the public, in a reusable digital format under an open license. For these free-software lovers, this is second nature to them. Many of them believe this is a fundamental element of political transparency and therefore of democracy. All the NGOs present – Democracy International, Transparency International, La Quadrature du Net or Access Info – state that accessing public data and especially European institutions data is a matter of information freedom. […]