Open data—from both government and private sources—has great potential for creating new products, reducing the costs of doing business, and improving people's lives. But for open data to truly benefit both business and local communities, there are still some questions that will need to be answered.
As many jumped into making recommendations on how the U.S. government's Recovery data should be packaged and disseminated, it's worth looking into some important previous work in this area, work with which many who are new to open government might be unfamiliar.
Now you can use an API to find out once and for all whether you are among the living. The U.S. Social Security Administration maintains a "death index" to prevent fraud. CDYNE Corporation subscribes to the updates and has opened the index up with a fee-based API (details at our Death Index API profile).