The Canadian Institute for Information and Privacy Studies (CIIPS) is committed to building knowledge about information and privacy issues, rights, and practices. Applying that knowledge enables individuals, communities, and peoples to achieve their full democratic potential in today’s information environment. Learn more about CIIPS »
CIIPS launches “Crowdsourcing” research project
CIIPS is pleased to announce the launch of our first funded research project, which will explore the successful use of crowdsourcing by nonprofit organizations.
The project is supported with a $25,750 grant from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)’s Community Investment Program. Through the Community Investment Program, CIRA funds projects that demonstrate the capacity to build a better online Canada. The CIRA team manages Canada’s country code top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. A member-based organization, CIRA represents the interests of Canada’s Internet community internationally.
“Internet-based crowdsourcing can benefit Canadian society through diversifying information sources and access, advancing democratic participation,” said Darrell Evans, President of the Canadian Institute for Information and Privacy Studies Society in announcing the project on June 9, 2015.
Crowdsourcing offers the potential to diversify information sources and access to information in order to advance democratic participation, and to further develop the Internet as a site for diverse discourses concerning Canadian society’s vital issues.
The year-long study seeks to identify best practices for Internet-based crowdsourcing that can be adapted by nonprofit organizations. Through a case study of multiple successful crowdsourcing campaigns by two organizations, the project analyzes how strategic adoption of crowdsourcing can improve freedom of, and access to, information; democratic participation; and further develop the Internet as a site of civil society communication, engagement, and decision-making.
The study researcher is Gareth Kirkby, MA. Gareth is a former member of the CIIPS board of directors and the former communication and community director. He is an associate faculty member in the School of Communication and Culture at Royal Roads University in British Columbia.
For further information, contact researcher Gareth Kirkby at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada needs informed citizens in the digital information environment
Over the last thirty years, the digital information environment has become a powerful driver of change and progress in most areas of human endeavour. People increasingly depend on the online environment to access and exchange information, create and publish content, communicate, interact, and associate with each other.
Clearly, the Internet offers tremendous opportunities for the realization of individual and collective human potential. Making the most of the potential of current and future computer and communications technologies, while also minimizing the negative impacts on people, will require thoughtful action by individuals, groups, companies, governments, and international agencies. And that will require research programs, including those overseen by CIIPS.
Issues of literacy, access, and power arise with all technologies, including current and future computing and communication technologies, together with programs, apps, and social media. Who will be in control of personal and collective information—the individual or corporations and governments who have their own uses for the data trails people create? Will there be universal and affordable access to the critical information channels of our time? Will all individuals possess the knowledge to maintain their freedom and autonomy, or will we be at the mercy of large corporations and government?
Many people’s computer literacy, online skills, and information accessing abilities have grown over the past two decades. New technological developments make it difficult to stay ahead. Through continuing to develop practical skills for accessing information and determining their own level of privacy even as technology continues to change, citizens can navigate through the current and future choices they will face about life, career, and democracy itself. The education programs of CIIPS can help increase their knowledge and skills, and so help citizens enhance their livelihoods and contribute to the social, economic, and democratic development of society.
Through learning practical skills for accessing information and determining their own level of privacy, and by applying insights about the implications of new technological developments coming at people at an ever-faster pace, citizens can be equipped to think their own way through the current and future choices they will face about life, democracy, and career.