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Find Out More About Data Privacy at NetTuesday in London

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Data Privacy is an issue that is of increasing importance not only to civil society organisations, but social change activists and the general public. Data is becoming more open and is being used for good in many ways. We are also using the Internet and our phones every day to talk to each other, mobilise and organise for social change and access public and commercial services. As a result more and more data about us is being accessed, stored and in some cases reused without our knowledge. Identity thefts and hacking has also become much more commonplace. However, many of us don’t know much about how we can better protect ourselves online or about the EU and UK laws pertaining to data privacy. This event will examine why it is important, discuss recent examples of data privacy violations, regulations you should be aware of, and most importantly ways that you can help to keep your personal data private. RSVP here.

Linking Art, Technology, and Data for Online Communications

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by Keisha Taylor. This was originally posted on the TechSoup Global Blog

A host of great speakers were in attendance at the event Public 2.0: Culture, Creativity and Audience in an Era of Information Openness. The free event was held on July 21, 2011, in London. It examined the link between these areas of work and its relevance for communicating today and was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the University of Westminster. The event brought together a small gathering of journalists, academics, developers, artists, activists, and business people to share ideas, experiences and talk about future possibilities in this space.

How Can Philanthropy and Technology Co-evolve for Development?

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A Review of the “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development” Report

by Keisha Taylor. This was originally posted on the TechSoup Global Blog.

Philanthropists, nonprofits, and the development sector as a whole cannot underestimate the role they have to play in understanding and using technology for development. But they must also be informed about the implications of its use. This is one of the key messages I garnered from the lengthy but interesting and provocative Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development report, recently published by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Global Business Network. Engaging the imagination, it puts forward four global scenarios, with an accompanying fictional case study, that describe how philanthropy and technology may co-evolve for development. I’ve summarized the report and its main points for you as an easy introduction to this important topic.

Don’t Be Fooled by Abstract Jargon: Internet Governance and ICT Policy Affect All of Us

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by Keisha C Taylor. This was originally posted on the GuideStar International blog.

Most civil society organisations (CSOs) and citizens don’t use high-level jargon such as “Internet governance” and “ICT policy.” For them, it’s about having reliable and fast Internet access; accessing health care services via mobile in rural areas; voicing views online without fear of persecution, not having useful services blocked by Internet service providers (ISPs), not being exposed to cyberbullying, or fearing to become a victim of online fraud. The Internet, and technology as a whole, is so intertwined with day-to-day life that the decisions made by governments and corporations directly impact how we use the Internet and how CSOs work — now and in the future.

Data, Data Everywhere — But How Does It Relate to You And Your Work?

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By Keisha Taylor. This was originally posted on the GuideStar International blog

As Internet and mobile access grows, more data is made open online. It is being used and analyzed by the media, the private sector, governments, and civil society organizations to inform their decisions. Open data, real time data, and linked data are being discussed in many forums. And so are the ways in which governments, civil society organizations, and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) can work with the private sector to benefit the public using the data analysis. Data-related events are highlighting the value of data and are addressing technical, design, political, reliability, validity, and inclusion issues that arise with its disclosure.

Shouldn’t the Word Phone be Removed from Mobile? – The Use of the Mobile by Nonprofits for Development

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This was first published on the GuideStar International blog

Can you remember when a huge mobile phone was a brand new and exciting phenomenon and something that only a privileged few were within reach of... a device only seen on TV! Times have changed. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reported that this year there are over 5 billion mobile subscriptions. It is also not only used for talking at all and I’d suggest that the word ‘phone’ be dropped from its title.

How Safe is the Cloud?

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This is the last of a three part series about Cloud computing as it relates to civil society organisations (CSOs) by Keisha Taylor, Communications Manager, GuideStar International.  You can also read the first post TechSoup Global: Teaching CSOs About the Cloud and the second post What is the Value of the Cloud for CSOs in the Developing World?.

Information held by and about a CSO in the Cloud can be requested by governments for a variety of reasons and this can be done without the CSO’s knowledge. As one TechCrunch blogger Paul Carr noted on his post Why I’m Having Second Thoughts About The Wisdom Of The Cloud, a request for information letter can be sent by the government to a provider without any requirement to notify the organisation or person that their data is being accessed. Such stories only serve to heighten CSOs concern about privacy and make them more wary of the use of the Cloud, particularly if they take a position that is publicly in opposition to a government that has jurisdiction over the information they hold in a Cloud.

What is the Value of the Cloud for CSOs in the Developing World?

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This is the second of a three part series about Cloud computing as it relates to civil society organisations (CSOs).  This was originally posted on the GuideStar International blog. You can also read the first post here TechSoup Global: Teaching CSOs About the Cloud.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the benefits of Cloud computing to the nonprofit sector, but many CSOs in the developing world are unaware of how important this technology is quickly becoming.  This is in part because developing countries face additional constraints which limit its adoption, though the benefits that can be derived from its use are somewhat unparalleled.  CSOs in developing countries may arguably not be as worried about security and privacy, (though this too is by no means of little importance!) because infrastructure problems like lack of a reliable electricity supply, limited internet access and slow broadband are issues they must still overcome if they want to adopt many ICT services and truly take advantage of services like the Cloud.

TechSoup Global: Teaching CSOs About the Cloud

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This is the first of a three part series about Cloud computing as it relates to civil society organisations (CSOs) by Keisha Taylor, Communications Manager, GuideStar International. It was first posted on the GuideStar International blog.

Civil Society Organisations are waking up to the benefits of using cloud computing services (the Cloud) for their work. Nevertheless, issues like interoperability, security, privacy and lack of a supportive technology infrastructure persist, leading many CSOs unable to decide if it is right for them. TechSoup Global is educating CSOs about the value of Cloud Computing as well as the problems they may encounter as more and more cloud computing services are introduced to the sector.

Crowdsourcing: A Value to Nonprofits?

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This post is cross-posted from the TechSoup blog. You can read the original post and any comments here.

Who can help? Has this been done before? What is the best route? How can this project be sustainable? Crowdsourcing is being used to help find the answers to these and many other questions. According to Wikipedia, "crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call." Organizations are crowdfunding, crowd voting, crowdsourcing jobs, and even crowdsourcing films (see Life in a Day). Presentations illustrating its use have also been made available at this year's CrowdConf2010.


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