We are currently living in an era where some forms of government and business information or 'data' is being made open and accessible. Known as 'open data', this service can offer a lot of potential for research and development, and improve current services. However, at the same time, individuals are giving away their personal information online in exchange for 'free services' like Facebook and Google, who then sell it to businesses so they can directly market their goods according to our demographics in these same spaces.
The following are some examples of how 'open data' is being used for the common good:
However, contrast this to the way we are using other information online:
The way I see it, 'open data' is made of four components:
One potential model could be the 'Internet of Subjects' Manifesto, which is "a network made up of personal data stores, where identity data and personal information systems representing individuals are at the very centre of the architecture". Under this model, individuals would have more control by separating their data from its meta-data and pointing online services to it, rather than taking control of it.
We are currently in an era where our personal online data is being managed by others for their profit and gain, and privacy is out our control while we are also being given the ability to access, assert and utilise a wide range of information through 'open data' options. However, this is creating a dilemma between wanting more control over who and how our information is used, but encouraging governments and businesses to open and share their information for the common good.
So is it possible to do both - have our data open and closed?
Allison Miller is the Business Manager for the E-portfolios business activity for the Australian Flexible Learning.... Her previous Framework roles include being the South Australian Innovations Coordinator, and the Project Manager for the Inclusive e-Learning (Youth) Project. Allison has also been the E-Learning Development Co-ordinator for TAFE SA.
Allison has been involved in the VET sector for more than eight years in areas of Business Finance, Administration and Small Business Management and has over six years experience in creating e-learning environments for students and staff.
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