The number of countries who have adopted freedom of information laws (FOI laws) is on the increase worldwide, according to data published in a recent UNESCO report
. In 2016, 112 countries had enacted such laws that allow the general public access to data held by their respective government.
These kinds of transparency laws are important civil rights, as they help to keep governments accountable towards their citizens. The best practice legislation obliges governments to release information as a standard procedure, without anybody actually having to request the data. Instead of releasing information when they must, governments have to justify when they withhold information.