A technology forum has recommended reviewing laws and establishing an independent data council to help New Zealand harness the power of the internet.
But a computer forensics expert has said public sector data security is not yet good enough to cope with some of the forum's recommendations.
The New Zealand Data Futures Forum, which was established this year by the Ministers of Finance and Statistics, has said there are huge economic, social and environmental opportunities if data is used in the right way.
In its latest discussion document, the forum said there needed to be a review of information legislation including the Official Information Act, the Privacy Act and the Copyright Act.
It also recommended using and sharing data for research use, and legislating for the proactive release of open government data.
An independent data council would advise the government, support watchdogs, develop best-practice tools and provide ethical guidance.
A number of so-called catalyst projects have been proposed including tracking food from its source to consumers' plates and easing congestion in Auckland by creating more smart roads.
The forum said data collectors should be accountable and exercise a duty of care.
Daniel Ayers, the director of forensic investigation company Special Tactics Limited, said there was a lack of trust after the number of recent privacy breaches by government departments.
"There's nothing to indicate that those are slowing down. It seems to me that there is a gap between the theory set out in the document about trust and the reality that the security in the New Zealand public sector is not good enough for this to be happening yet."