Big Data and Civ Tech are new. New things can be scary. For many, the advent of big data and the impact on democracy is one such area. Human curiosity propels technology advancement, and yet uptake of technology is often hindered by fears born of the same imaginations.
Recently Carole Cadwalladr published an article in the Guardian outlining ways that data companies may be undermining democracy. The involvement of data firms Aggregate IQ and Cambridge Analytica in major elections raises many questions. Should innovative tech companies be allowed to impact elections? What is the proper role of Big Data and CivTech in democratic society? Is there room for such technology in modern governance? This blog post will focus on the last question.
Is there room for new technology in modern governance?
In short, yes.
CivTech start ups can enhance democracy by driving voter participation and showing politicians what their constituents really think. One such start up, Represent.me, uses data to get the apathetic engaged in politics. Represent.me were recently covered by the Times for their innovative work aligning people with their elected representatives.
Represent.me are precisely the type of CivTech company that people need to see. One that helps the government and the people to trust one another and work together.