Quite simply information is power. Governments might claim (and potentially truthfully) that they won't abuse this power; but it is power that they have quite simply grabbed without much debate. On the otherhand we the people are denied much information about government with them saying that it would be a security issue to hand out much of the most powerful information. So why is it that minor nobodies with little or no oversight can go through my most personal banking, telephoning, and medical information while the most basic information such as the exact details of how government officials are spending my money are hidden.
Few if any freedom of information laws have real teeth and governments push back against them as hard as is possible with outlandish fees, redacted information, delays, byzantine application and appeals processes, and in the end no consequences if they obstruct or don't comply. Let's see what happens when the government demands information from you and you start hitting them with per page fees, redacting information, or just saying no.
I have a simple suggestion: that laws be put into place that severely limit the government's ability to gather information about us. And another set of laws that give the public pretty well open and near total access to any government record. The only records that should be "secret" are ones where the harm greatly outweighs the public good and even then there could be time limits. Two examples would be a few things involving criminal investigations such as informants, undercover officers, wiretaps, etc. The other would be individual medical records as people would otherwise be reluctant to seek treatment for embarrassing conditions or at least be honest with their doctor.
But severely limiting the government would almost certainly result in their doing an end run and using private organizations to do their spying. So the law would have to reach out and limit any organization from gathering or sharing data. A simple example that I would love to see is that a company would not be allowed to disseminate/sell data even in the aggregate that they gathered for a specific purpose beyond that purpose. So if a contest gets your name they can use it for picking a winner, not for further marketing. If the power company gets your address they can hook you up and send you bills. If the credit card companies see you make a purchase they can bill you for it but that is it. A critical part of such a law would be that a contract can not depend upon someone waving that right, nor can their be negative option waivers.
A simple way to formulate this law would be to find out the various data sources that junk mailers use and make them all illegal; that plus a bit of common sense would make for an awesome life improving law.