Communication and information have been important drivers of civil society, as groups, individuals and even nation states are able to use what they know and what they share with others to improve important aspects of social relationships in areas like public relations, collaboration, mutual understanding, trust building and the ability of individuals to express and assert their social needs and civil rights. As more and more information is being collected on all aspects of our daily lives and that information is accessed by third parties for purposes not necessarily related to the initial rationale for which the information was gathered in the first place, issues arise regarding the use of that information and how that use impacts an individual’s freedoms and rights; such as:
- Ownership of personal information
- Access to information
- Ability to explain and defend ones rights or needs with your own information that reflects your ability to determine and express yourself.
Information that is collected on us increasingly impacts our health, privacy, political freedom and economic opportunities as various parties know more about us than we often know about ourselves and/or interpret information about us that is collected, understood and explained by others.
Our optimism regarding technological progress in the area of information technology, knowledge management and the social narrative others have about our identity is increasingly being questioned. The NYTs has a provocative article on how information impacts the educational system which is so often decisive in the lives of our children, friends and family members.
“WHEN Cynthia Stevenson, the superintendent of Jefferson County, Colo., public schools, heard about a data repository called inBloom, she thought it sounded like a technological fix for one of her bigger headaches. Over the years, the Jeffco school system, as it is known, which lies west of Denver, had invested in a couple of dozen student data systems, many of which were …”