The recognition that data have value has been important in making it possible to collect data, process data, and manage with data ... but the downside of this has been that data and related analysis has been managed as intellectual property (IP) ... and this property then being exploited for its value to its owner rather than being used for public good.
The issue of the “public right to know” is not central to much debate ... and this has made it possible for public sector performance to be very low efficiency and nobody any the wiser. What a corporate organization tells the public is only a tiny amount of what the company knows ... and is carefully presented to send a message that is designed for the stakeholders, and not much related to the underlying data and knowledge.
The rule seems to be that only data that are required by law to be accessible to the pubic are going to be accessible ... everything else is going to be secret. More than anything else, this means that society will progress way more slowly than it would where data and analysis were being used to the optimum.
The argument that the value of IP produces an incentive to use data and innovate has some merit ... but so also does the argument that professionals and scientists are not only motivated by money, but also see value in discovery as a value beyond just its money value.