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API strategy essentials for Public Sector Innovation: Legal and organisational perspective

API4IPS legal and organisational essentials

Published on: 30/11/2022 Document
API4IPS legal and organisational essentials
API legal and organisational essentials

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have an enabling role in establishing digital ecosystems and coordinating digital interactions. A robust and performing technical infrastructure is essential but insufficient to ensure a sustainable thriving of digital environments. Both technical and legal stability are necessary to cherish for the mutual benefit of service providers, their users and society at large. This stability is crucial to ensure the robustness and competitiveness of digital value chains and the thriving of the European digital ecosystem.
Against this backdrop, this report explores crucial organisational and legal aspects of managing and coordinating digital interactions through APIs. Specifically, the analysis describes API-related legal obligations and applicable law. The study also analyses the current practices of coordination and negotiation with their digital counterparts in eight different organisations. Finally, the work analyses the clauses and conditions encoded in 4K API's Term of Services documents (ToS) to evaluate if current ToS drafting practices foster or hinder the thriving of fair digital environments.

This work aims to clarify relevant aspects (e.g., API actors' roles and functions, API-related rights and obligations) that should be considered when designing rights and responsibilities flows within digital chains and the ecosystem at large.


THIS REPORT is complemented by two additional documents of API4IPS project's output:


The report analyses essential technical aspects to be considered by government organisations that aim at innovating their processes and leveraging all the potential of their API-driven technological infrastructures. These aspects include API management, discoverability, security and traceability concerns.


This report describes the main findings of the project and draws overarching conclusions about areas to focus when using API infrastructure in public sector innovation processes.




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