In this electronic age we see ourselves being translated more and more into the form of information, moving toward the technological extension of consciousness. – Marshall McLuhan (1911 -1980)
Welcome to my blog. Let me start by telling you what this blog is about.
Are you fascinated by the digital information revolution?
Then please keep reading. As a risk consultant working in the technology and media industry I am confronted with its impact, good and bad, every day and these insights I want to share with you.
Today in western societies more people are employed collecting, handling and distributing information than in any other occupation. Millions of computers inhabit the earth and many millions of miles of optical fibre, wire and air waves link people, their computers and the vast array of information handling devices together. Our society is truly an information society, our time an information age.
The days of the ‘Wild Wild Web’ are over.
The claim for the digital world was that it could and should not be regulated. Wikileaks, Apps, Facebook and other developments will inevitably lead to more and more control. Not necessarily control by government, and not necessarily control to some evil end. But as Lawrence Lessig explained in his copyright-free publication Code V2 (http://codev2.cc/), governments and corporations are building an internet that is quite the opposite of its architecture at its birth. Governments and corporations are constructing an internet that will perfect control and make highly efficient regulation possible.
We are at the crossroads of shaping the digital world we into a world that we can trust.
Trust in a digital world is constantly developing and changing due to the continuous disruptive innovations in technology. Digital information ethics will become more and more predominant as the dependency of our society on digital information increases. Every incident will make us think about how media and tech businesses should work to protect the public interest. The ethical issues involved are many and varied; however, in this blog I will focus on just four.
|Four major issues of information ethics for the information age*|
|Property: Who owns information? What are the just and fair prices for its exchange?
Accessibility: What information does a person or an organization have a right or a privilege to obtain, under what conditions and with what safeguards? Who owns the channels and infrastructure through which information is transmitted? How should access to this scarce resource be allocated?
Privacy: What information about one’s self or one’s organization must you reveal to others, under what conditions and with what safeguards? What things can you keep to yourselves and not be forced to reveal to others?
Accuracy: Who is responsible for the authenticity, fidelity and accuracy of information? Similarly, who is to be held accountable for errors in information and how is the injured party to be made whole?
|* Four Ethical Issues of the Information Age. Richard O. Mason. MIS Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 1, 5-12. March, 1986.|
Digital Dilemmas of Online Business Models
The potential conflicts between the issues of information ethics can lead to ethical dilemmas in online business models. For example ensuring accuracy of information can be in conflict with privacy of information. The information of our behaviour on the internet helps search engines improve accuracy of search results. But do we want them to store all this information on our preferences and choices on their servers? Reconciling this dilemma leads to a better search engine and thus to a competitive advantage.
- To create wealth is to combine values that are not easily joined…therefore scarce…therefore profitable…- Fons Trompenaars
The moral imperative is clear. Maybe we have to wait until a disaster happens or until companies like Google and Facebook misuse our trust in them, but eventually these companies will have to ensure that information technology, and the information it handles, are used to enhance society.
In this blog I will share my personal opinions on digital dilemmas of online business models and how we can enhance trust in a digital world.
And off course I want learn from you, so please share your comments with me.
Let’s discuss !