Preserving and promoting citizen's rights in the digital age

As society goes digital, citizens should aim to preserve openness. A society built on laws, free from disproportionate, unaccountable surveillance and censorship should be the goal. Ensuring that citizens and policymakers work together to protect the privacy of people while promoting the benefits of open data can change the world we live in.
People Impacted
$ 93B
Potential Funding
I have this challenge
the problem
Nature and Context

Sharing and simultaneously protecting data means a society in which information flows more freely. This creates a state that is transparent and accountable, where the public's rights are acknowledged and upheld. Society should uphold  free expression and privacy, and work against repressive laws or systems that deny people these rights, ensuring a movement for freedom in the digital age.

Symptoms and Causes

Ambiguity concerning the 4th Amendment

  • According to the Fourth Amendment says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.'

  • If there was a search or seizure, if it was of protected things, and if it was unreasonable, then the right has been violated. That is how to administer the Fourth Amendment (Harper).

  • Though the Supreme Court is not plain about it, it uses this simple construct for analyzing easy Fourth Amendment cases.In harder cases, such as when communications and data are involved, the concepts of “search” and “seizure” seem harder to apply, and the Court retreats to confusing and malleable “reasonable expectations” doctrine (Harper).

Technology has outpaced policy change

  • We've seen congress fail to grasp the vast changes when technology advancements meet citizen's privacy, including major cases like the Facebook hearings. This ever-growing gap in understanding leaves America without an established form of legal, ethical oversight concerning these new technologies.

  • As policymakers struggle to define a meaningful role for themselves in one of the most contentious areas of American politics, the advancement of digital technologies only makes the issue loom larger. Each convenient new feature developed by Apple, Google or Facebook fuels a public conversation about the border between cutting-edge and creepy (Mullholland).

the impact
Negative Effects

Lack of Trust: Because policy over data privacy is unclear, the public maintains a general mistrust in the possible positive impact big, open data could have on our society. Instilling trust in the use of data is a pre-condition for fully realizing the gains of digital transformation (OECD).

Incentives: The current standard of sharing data is incentivized. Our rewards systems promote the sharing of knowledge only when it serves the sharer, instead of placing value on the sharing of data for the greater good. This leaves the holders of data capable of misusing the data themselves for their own profit, or being susceptible to third parties with malevolent intentions.

Lack of Transparency: There are several differing methods on how to best create and implement solutions surrounding data sharing. Being open and transparent about the features and functionalities that get built into solutions from the beginning could help. Everyone producing connected products must be transparent about how they are building security into their development process (CISCO).

Economic Impact

Maximize, but protect: As computing power improves dramatically and more and more people around the world participate in the digital economy, we should think carefully about how to devise policies that will allow us to fully exploit the digital revolution (IMF). Maximizing the economic benefits of using data in the digital age also means protecting the citizen's that data is being collected from.

New Business Models: The rapid pace of technology evolution over the past decades gave us new business models, an unprecedented level of global connectivity (accelerated by the smartphone phenomenon). If used effectively, big data can be a powerful tool. Various researchers have found a strong link between effective data management strategy and financial performance of companies as it helps them get to market faster with products and services that are better aligned with customer needs. It has the same performance enhancement potential for the public sector in terms of better policies, more tailored government services, and more effective and efficient distribution of resources. It can also lead to negative outcomes if used incorrectly, in addition to the much-discussed issue of privacy (WEF). 

Success Metrics

Meeting the expectations of citizen's: Today, fast-moving and evolving trends in digital technologies are leading to a radical change in citizen expectations. Citizens are changing their approach to interacting with, and relating to, governmental organizations and services. The nature of these evolving interactions is horizontal, empowering and spontaneous. In many ways, the exact opposite of the traditional hierarchical, bureaucratic and rules-based systems government developed over the decades. Central to this new form of interaction is data: up-to-date, reliable, user-friendly and open data.

Ways Data Governance Can Improve (Towards Data Science):

  • Improvement in Data Quality Scores

  • Adherence to Data Management Standards and Processes

  • Reduction in risk events

  • Reduction in Data rectification costs

who benefits from solving this problem
Organization Types
  • Government Institutions

  • Tech Companies

  • Cyber and Malware Protection Agencies

  • Citizens

  • Policy Makers

  • Technologists

  • Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

  • Data Analysts

financial insights
Current Funding
  • Federal funding

  • Private funding

Ideas Description

Increase Security for all Data

Code for America believes government must work for the people, and by the people, in the digital age, starting with the people who need it most. We build digital services that enhance government capabilities, and we help others do the same across all levels of government. Our goal: a 21st-century government that effectively and equitably serves all Americans.

Malwarebytes' cybersecurity suite offers what others don't for your nonprofit, including malware protection, antivirus software, and antiphishing tools. It reduces complexity through a guided user interface, next-generation threat intelligence, and seamless integration capabilities. For nonprofits large or small, works on Mac and Windows for unmatched protection and return on your security investment.

Trend Micro, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, helps to make nonprofits and small businesses safe for exchanging digital information. Cloud One gives you the total package for cloud security. Comprised of six cloud security services, we can address workload, container, file object storage, serverless and application, and network security, along with security posture management.

Kaspersky's range of security solutions offers a combination of multi-layered protection including malware and virus protection and manageability that’s right for your organization. The best security makes life easier, not harder, for overworked IT departments at nonprofit organizations. Kaspersky is a complete cybersecurity solution for nonprofits.

Connect Citizens with Policy Makers

IssueVoter is an innovative, non-partisan online platform giving everyone a voice in our democracy by making civic engagement accessible, efficient, and impactful. The time between elections is when the work that impacts our lives gets done and you can have a say year-round. Track your representative's votes and bills, send your opinion directly to your rep, and act on the issues all in one place.

Resistbot helps you compose and send letters to elected officials in under two minutes. Chat Resistbot using iMessage, Messenger, Twitter, or Telegram, and we will build your letter to representatives for you. We can also help you sign onto existing petitions or get ready to vote! Text 'resist' to 50409

Trust, Sharing Incentives, and Transparency

ReliablyME offers a blockchain-enabled data commons for commitments-related data. An anonymized record of commitments is stored on a member-governed blockchain network that ensures privacy, data integrity, and equitable access.

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