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Transcript of Online Transparency
Google's Transparency Report
Based on the belief that operation of government and public administration should be opened at all levels to public scrutiny and oversight
Greater openness and interactivity
Companies being pressured to become more open and engaged online by using blogs, by sharing more of their internal discussions or information, by inviting comments and input, by participating in social media
Does an increase in personal transparency lead to a decrease in personal privacy?
“When a government is trying to hide information, it’s probably because of something they are doing wrong or shouldn’t be doing at all. People should know about this.” He also says, “Transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger societies.”
“Transparency is how you keep societies honest.
“And now, because of the internet and because of the digital revolution, we’ve essentially given people the ability to see everything. So you can now take photographs, take videos of everything you see in your world and people discover it. And there are whole communities of people who are interested in these kinds of aspects. And they serve as a form of check and balance on the powerful, the rich, the people who might exploit others.
“It means that everybody can’t hide. They have to actually tell the truth. To me, that’s a great step forward.”
In a political sense, transparency is used as a means of holding public officials accountable and fighting corruption.
When a government's meetings are open to the press and the public, its budgets may be reviewed by any citizen, and its laws and decisions are open to discussion, it is seen as transparent.
The result: less opportunity for people in power to abuse the system for their own interests.
The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe all inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether or not they are being watched.
A type of building designed by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century.
Increases trust, credibility and accountability
What are some of the kinds and characteristics of new media that could explain all this transparency?
Digitality (easy to copy & share)
Designed to be uncontrollable
Social pressure toward more openness
The ease of data transparency today has led to a greater expectation of transparency in all aspects of society - personal, corporate, and governmental.
"Increasingly, it’s expected that everyone is on Facebook in some capacity, and that a negative assumption is starting to arise about those who reject the Big Blue Giant’s siren call. Continuing to navigate life without having this digital form of identification may be like trying to get into a bar without a driver’s license."
Greater transparency is happening in both ways we are in control of and ways we are not.
Transparency in general refers to the practice or ability to make information more widely available to the public.
New media technologies and practices have enabled all-new forms of transparency in every aspect of modern societies.
This means it is much easier for Asian (and all) people to choose transparency as a strategy for opening up their lives and their businesses and their political systems.
But it also means that transparency is not always voluntary -- and can have unexpected and even harmful effects on individuals, economies, business operations, and political and diplomatic institutions.
How are we to understand all of this in the context of Asian societies and subcultures?
At the cost of losing complete control of corporate communication
Wikinomics author Don Tapscott says, “You can’t hide anymore. Online is where [corporate] reputations are made now.”
“Don’t worry about ‘losing control’ of your corporate messages or conversations because of the Internet – the truth is, you’ve already lost control. So it’s better to accept this and get engaged in the conversations that are happening about your brand, conversations you cannot stop but can only try to steer.”
Transparency in government is understood to improve credibility and trust in citizens.
What are the advantages to personal transparency in the digital era? What are some disadvantages? Use recent examples to illustrate your thinking?
Should transparency expectations be the same for all societies and political systems? Why/not? (Think about the relevance here of Asian and Confucian values, religion, filial obligations, etc.)
Apply the concepts, issues and ideas related to transparency (as outlined in the lecture) to either your team project idea OR a recent example from the news.
Think of an example of corporate transparency that has benefited the company. How did it work? Was it voluntary or involuntary? How about one that harmed the company?
What might transparency mean for your future professional practice OR professional practice (in Singapore OR an Asian society you are researching in the course)?
How might it be possible to use the Internet and digital technology to make law enforcement in Singapore more transparent?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of your idea?
For private citizens?