[Reading Group] Collective Summary #2: The Foundations of Trust in a Digital Society

The recent focus on TraceTogether data and the use of POFMA during the 2020 General Elections have highlighted the increasing urgency of the need for awareness of emerging digital technology issues and how they affect society. What are our roles and responsibilities as citizens? How much trust can we place in public office when it comes to the control and use of digital technology? And what are the economics and principles that inform our assessment of whether we can trust digital technology to begin with?

In the second of four collective summaries following SPJ’s reading group, Joshua Tan reviews the remarks of our guest speakers, David Eaves and Bruce Schneier. The summary details the takeaways from the group, as well the policy deep-dives conducted in group’s subsequent roundtable discussions.

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In TraceTogether We Trust: Singapore’s Challenge with Data Governance and Ethics

Sarah Anderson and Lionel Oh highlight existing gaps in Singapore’s current legislative and bureaucratic structures for managing data and digital technology. They argue that these concerns extend past any single product or incident; because of the importance of building public trust in the government’s use of digital technology, transparency, privacy, and other ethical considerations should be a fixture of technology policy. The authors also provide recommendations on how these data ethics concerns might be addressed through augmented workstreams which introduce procedures and safeguards for government technology.

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[Reading Group] Collective Summary #1: Do Citizens Dream of Smart Cities?

As the prevalence of digital technology looks set to become a mainstay in Singapore’s smart nation ambitions, what benefits and costs can we expect? What kind of future will that create, and what are some societal issues that must first be recognized and resolved before accepting such a future?

In the first of four collective summaries following SPJ’s reading group, Jonathan Cheng reviews the topics discussed in the inaugural session. The summary details the takeaways from the group, which comprises student participants from a range of academic backgrounds.

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Rethinking Scholarship Diversity: The Pre-U Education of PSC Scholars

Minister-in-Charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing recently remarked that the diversity of Public Service Commission Scholarship recipients goes beyond race, language, and religion. This raises questions about how diverse recipients have been in socio-economic terms, of which pre-university education provides a good proxy for assessment. In this piece, Andrew Chia looks at why diversity in background matters, and explores the diversity of PSC scholars using compiled data on PSC Scholarships from 2007 to 2018.

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