US: Google urged governments to share necessary information to allow citizens and first responders to make better use of the Internet during natural disasters. At a conference in quake-prone Japan, Rachel Whetstone, the firm’s senior vice president of public policy and communications, said some countries hesitate over disclosing data which prevents civil society from creating new services to help citizens in need.
“We certainly have found access to data that has enormously improved many of our products, including maps,” she said at Google’s “Big Tent” conference, designed to discuss issues related to the Internet and society.
“We are still seeing quite a few governments globally who are quite closed with their data. If we could have… greater access to that data, I think we could do even more amazing things,” Whetstone added.
Tokyo was criticised for not publishing data it had as reactors at Fukushima went into meltdown, spreading radiation over a large area and forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes.