DH1001 Assessment

The following discussions done in class are what I consider to be the most relevant and most thought-out to be done.

Discussion 1: A Domain of One’s Own

In the article “A Domain of One’s Own” (Insider, 2015), they speak about many different theories and ideas within the broader idea of open access and opportunities. Some of these points are especially interesting. Such as the idea of all people having equal access to services and sites “regardless of class status.”. This idea is especially important as it is becoming more and more important for people to have access to certain resources and infrastructure in the ever-growing digital age. However, a similar idea is also brought up as to how universities “provide students with temporary tools” and cyber infrastructure. This is an interesting idea that relates to the previous. This is because it is important for universities to provide access to certain services, such as student email accounts and Canvas. It is also important to note that, in relation to the previous statement, not all people have access to these services. While universities do allow for online access to these services, there is always the possibility that the student may not have access to the resources needed to access them. For example, not all students have a computer or laptop that can be used to access sites and accounts provided by the university. This carries into another point in the article that states, “Cyber infrastructure is an important life lesson.”. This once again ties into the previous two points. In order to learn and become proficient in cyber infrastructure, which is important in the modern digital age, it is still the case that people do not have access to this infrastructure due to either their class or access to such infrastructures.

Discussion 2: Contract of the Web (Principles 5 and 8)

The two concepts we are looking at (5 and 8) are interesting ones. Principle 5 states, “Respect and protect people’s privacy and personal data to build online trust.”. This is an important part of web access. The need for data protection is more important than ever now, in a digital age. This is because people spend a large amount of time on the web and share a large portion of their lives online. Therefore, if one’s data is not protected properly and their privacy is not respected, it opens the world up to a massive lack of privacy, leading to a large amount of a person’s personal life being made public, even aspects that, without the web, would be better kept private. One of the sub-headings of this principle states, “by giving people control over their privacy and data rights with clear and meaningful choices to control processes, including their privacy and data.”. This clears up more of the general principle by showing that these privacy restrictions are not a blanket rule for all users but allow each user to agree or disagree with any data rules they wish. This asks the question: should all people be required to conform to all the same data protection standards, or should each user should have the choice to opt in or out of individual rules and restrictions?

Principle 8 states, “Build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity” so that everyone feels safe online. This is an important part of internet communication, as all people should feel safe while online, and it should be a right, not a possibility. The subheading of this principle states that the goal is to “work towards a more inclusive web.”. This is a massively important factor in internet usage, as it means all people should have the ability to use the web while feeling safe and protected, and they should have equal access to all resources and sites regardless of personal restrictions. This principle also speaks about the need for online support regarding messages for “excluded groups” and to help those groups when “targeted or abused.”. This is a massive step towards web inclusivity and equal rights and opportunities, regardless of any personal factors that may affect one’s personal use of the web.

These two principles work hand in hand in many ways. Principle 5 highlights the importance of privacy and data security and the need to make privacy and data rights equal and available to all. This links in with principle 8 when speaking about an inclusive web and the need for everyone to feel safe online. The connections between these two principles are incredibly important, as they both highlight the need for safety, privacy, and accessibility for all, regardless of personal factors. The need for both of these principles is evident across the web, and it is important that, while similar, the principles are kept separate as they both target specific aspects of two similar concepts but in different ways and in different circumstances.

Bibliography:

Insider, (2015) A domain of one’s own, Wired. Available at: https://www.wired.com/insights/2012/07/a-domain-of-ones-own/  

World Wide Web Foundation, (2008), Contract For The Web, Available at: https://contractfortheweb.org/