Open Information, Open Government, and Better Nutrition: A Possibility To Explore

Deven Desai

Deven Desai is an associate professor of law and ethics at the Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology. He was also the first, and to date, only Academic Research Counsel at Google, Inc., and a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and the Yale Law School. Professor Desai’s scholarship examines how business interests, new technology, and economic theories shape privacy and intellectual property law and where those arguments explain productivity or where they fail to capture society’s interest in the free flow of information and development. His work has appeared in leading law reviews and journals including the Georgetown Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, and U.C. Davis Law Review.

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2 Responses

  1. geoff says:

    I think you’re a little behind. See here: And about 100 apps on the net and the iphone (probably more, actually) that do similar things.

  2. Deven says:


    Thanks for playing, but something may be missing here. As I noted in the post, yes there are many apps but the data is not as rich as it could be. And, I may have missed something, but the site the government offers and to which you refer requires one to go to that site. As a general matter, is all that data in a form that would allow anyone to study it or use it in other ways? If so, I am happy to know that the resource exists, but I don’t see it yet. Take a look at That site took open data and built a great tool. The government enabled that effort and others by offering the data in a good, usable form (the cited paper goes into what that idea entails).

    On a different, related note, thanks again. I knew that the FDA had this data but forgot that. You made me recall the site, That site gathers its list from the FDA. BUT the FDA site does not seem to be as elegant as it could be about how it presents information. That is part of the point: the information is there but not easily accessed and used by others. The government may not want to be in the business of building apps etc. Instead it could be the place to gather and share information (something is seems to do rather well) so many can play with it to build apps and study it as they see fit.