25 Apr 2017, 4:30 p.m.
Presenting Citizense Makers, a platform which gives individuals the ability to share and explore their personal data in context with other people’s data.
In addition to group sharing, the platform also facilitates annotation and discussion of interesting relationships in the data.
In the initial deployment of the platform questions arose around people’s willingness to share their personal data, and how this social context would contribute to sensemaking. Citizense Makers was launched as a controlled research project with transparent goals, and people reported that they were much more open to share their data because of this.
However, when considering larger scale sharing of personal informatics and wider public availability, new issues arise from the potential uses and misuse of the data. The question is: ‘What are the benefits of sharing for the individuals, and is the data used in a civic application serving the citizens, or for commercial benefit?’.
There will always be tension between those who use the data, whether governments, commercial companies or citizen-individuals. The second version of Citizense Makers will consider ways of linking up personal informatics data to other datasets.
Data from city sensors, for example quantifying pollution levels or traffic flow, could potentially open up new opportunities for civic participation and activism.
Open source sensor data from cities could be used by citizens as evidence to draw attention to community issues, or as an additional layer of information supporting public discourse. Empowering individuals to collectively make sense of data could provide them with new insights about their communities and result in civic applications which are truly grassroots and initiated by the people themselves.
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