Information sharing as a habit
of citizenship: Is there an
obligation to share?
Todd Suomela, Suzie Allard
University of Tennessee, USA
How do these overlap?
Components of citizenship
– Sense of belonging, community
– Civil rights, freedom of speech, assembly
– Obligations, voting
Two major traditions
–From ancient Greek
in government or
Birds + People = Data
eBird is an online checklist for avid birders to report their
observations and turn it into data, and eventually science.
Science + Citizens = ?
Benefits: better understanding of the environment,
engaging citizens with important issues such as climate
1 Billion Users on Facebook by 2012?
People are sharing more and more data.
What if we were obligated to
– Improving citizenship
– Improved understanding (of the world and
– Endangering privacy
– Losing trust
A fundamental tension
• Citizenship depends upon compromise
• The internet is large, it contains
– But so does the world
Implications for the future
• Think beyond Facebook and consider
other forms of data sharing
• Information professionals must promote
education to help people distinguish
data sharing and data taking
• Develop the connections between e-
government research and data sharing