[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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