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“USAFacts is a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s finances, and government’s impact on society. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative and have no political agenda or commercial motive. We provide this information as a free public service and are committed to maintaining and expanding it in the future. We rely […]

Big Data for Achievement of the 2030 Agenda: Data Privacy, Ethics and Protection

UNDG Guidance Note: “This document sets out general guidance on data privacy, data protection and data ethics for the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) concerning the use of big data, collected in real time by private sector entities as part of their business offerings1 , and shared with UNDG members for the purposes of strengthening […]

Killer Apps: Vanishing Messages, Encrypted Communications, and Challenges to Freedom of Information Laws When Public Officials ‘Go Dark’

Paper by Daxton Stewart: “In the early weeks of the new presidential administration, White House staffers were communicating among themselves and leaking to journalists using apps such as Signal and Confide, which allow users to encrypt messages or to make them vanish after being received. By using these apps, government officials are “going dark” by avoiding […]

The SAGE Handbook of Resistance

Handbook edited by David Courpasson and Steven Vallas: “Occupy. Indignados. The Tea Party. The Arab Spring. Anonymous. These and other terms have become part of an emerging lexicon in recent years, signalling an important development that has gripped many parts of the world: millions of people are increasingly involved, whether directly or indirectly, in movements of resistance and […]

Incorporating Ethics into Artificial Intelligence

Amitai Etzioni and Oren Etzioni in the Journal of Ethics: “This article reviews the reasons scholars hold that driverless cars and many other AI equipped machines must be able to make ethical decisions, and the difficulties this approach faces. It then shows that cars have no moral agency, and that the term ‘autonomous’, commonly applied to these machines, […]

How Can Digital Technologies Improve Public Services and Governance?

Book by Nagy K. Hanna: “This book considers the opportunities and challenges of harnessing digital technologies for improved public services and governance. It focuses on the challenges of applying digital technologies in developing countries, where dramatic results can be realized. It addresses questions like these: How can digital technologies help enhance transparency, accountability, and participation to […]

Digital Participation in an Open Innovation Platform : An Empirical Study on Smart Cities

Paper by J. Ojasalo and L. Tähtinen as part of the INTED2017 Proceedings: “The purpose of this paper is to increase knowledge of participation in collaborative innovation of cities with digital channels, as well as propose a model of digital participation system in an open innovation platform of a city. There is very little knowledge of this area is available in […]

Societal impacts of big data: challenges and opportunities in Europe

Martí Cuquet, Guillermo Vega-Gorgojo, Hans Lammerant, Rachel Finn, Umair ul Hassan at ArXiv: “This paper presents the risks and opportunities of big data and the potential social benefits it can bring. The research is based on an analysis of the societal impacts observed in a set of six case studies across different European sectors. These impacts […]

Why are America’s Tax Forms Still so Horribly Designed?

Meg Miller at Co.Design: “If there’s one issue that this divided nation can agree upon, it’s a common hatred of the federal government’s dizzying, overly complicated tax forms. Show me one person who enjoys digging up last year’s return and embarking on a byzantine quest through tax credits, deductions, exemptions, and withholdings, all for a measly […]

Bigger data, less wisdom: the need for more inclusive collective intelligence in social service provision

Alexander Fink in AI & Society: “Social service organizations have long used data in their efforts to support people in need for the purposes of advocacy, tracking, and intervention. Increasingly, such organizations are joining forces to provide wrap-around services to clients in order to “move the needle” on intractable social problems. Groups using these strategies, called Collective […]