13:44 GMT30 October 2020
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    Two pioneers of the tech industry said on Tuesday that Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon (GAFA) and other tech giants could impede the development of emerging technologies if they refuse to share more data.

    The UK government should collaborate with big data companies to make it more accessible, the Open Data Institute (ODI) said, adding that data was "a crucial element" of Britain's national infrastructure that could improve access to healthcare, schools and others.  

    The comments were made at the ODI Summit 2018 at King's Place in London on Tuesday with co-founders Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt in attendance. 

    Data could also earn between £6bn and £11 bln a year, according to the UK government, but "it is still hard to get hold of geospatial data from both the public and the private sectors," the ODI said. 

    "Government agencies charge fees that make it hard for startups to get started," the ODI said, adding that "rights over UK address data were privatised with the Royal Mail, and Google Maps recently increased its pricing by over 1000pc."  

    It also warned that such bureaucracy could hinder progress for UK businesses in the connected autonomous vehicles' market who rely on geospatial data, which provides data such as city boundaries and addresses, to onboard navigation and driver assisted systems.  

    READ MORE: Tech Giants Are in a 'Constant Conversation' With Gov'ts & Corporations — Author 

    "The Government must engage and work with private companies, who are creating and collecting geospatial data as part of their businesses, to explore how that data can benefit everyone," Open Data Institute CEO Jenni Tennison said. 

    "The UK needs an effective geospatial strategy that looks beyond geospatial data holders in the public sector," Tennison continued. "Without it, the UK will fail to meet commitments to industries that rely on new technology, such as driverless cars and drone delivery." 

    Other groups have criticised tech companies in recent times, with Transport for London enforcing new rules in February for private-hire companies which require them to share travel data.


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