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Data – Proposed Way Forward

If we consider what has been achieved in the past ten years, over the next decade we have the opportunity to give more and more power to users. In the world of ubiquitous and uniform access, intelligent agents and the semantic web, we have the potential to enable even greater shifts in transparency and access to data than previous generations would have ever imagined. However, to achieve this we need to move forward on two key topics that will moderate the impact that can be achieved.

One pivotal issue will be identity online, as people become more comfortable managing what information they share about themselves, and with whom. Many services on the web improve quickly when they people give them access to personal information. An example: in the process of crawling the web, Google visits more than a trillion different pages. Several billion more are added every day. Finding the right information is like having a fraction of a second to find a needle in a haystack of astronomical proportions. The links between web pages are the first indicator of how important any given page is, but our search logs provide an excellent form of feedback on whether we’re providing the best results. But if people are comfortable sharing their search history with us, we can use that as a valuable signal to provide them more relevant information more quickly.

The second and related issue, that I think needs to be taken several steps forward in the next couple of years, concerns regulation. There is an ongoing discussion about how to limit the uses of personal information without compromising innovation or decreasing access to information. Different countries have significantly different views on this, but, as national boundaries become less significant in a world of digital natives, we need to decide what rules are necessary and how those rules should be formulated. We all need to understand the balance and consider the possibility for increasing transparency in both directions. If people are given access to data to re-use, the power of innovation shifts to the public, and the potential for sharing of more ideas increases exponentially.

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4 Responses to “Data – Proposed Way Forward”
  1. Workshop Feedback says:

    Data is a critical infrastructure issue for business and nations. We need to rethink business models so that the provision and use of data becomes mutually beneficial. We need to envision and build new ecosystems which encompass content and systems which will create a win / win for all.

  2. Workshop Feedback says:

    There are increasing policy implications for education and citizenship around data. We need more education for users around both complexities of data and managing data overload.

  3. Workshop Feedback says:

    There will be escalating criminal concerns with data. Crime and the threats of misuse of data will raise more concerns around trust and security.

  4. Workshop Feedback says:

    Identity provides credibility to data which makes it knowledge.

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