Transparency, open data and trust in government: shaping the infosphere

O'Hara, Kieron (2012) Transparency, open data and trust in government: shaping the infosphere. In, ACM Web Science 2012, Evanston, US, 22 - 24 Jun 2012. 10pp. (doi:10.1145/2380718.2380747).


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This paper examines the ways in which using the World Wide Web to promote transparency and to disseminate open data will affect warranted and unwarranted trust in politics and within societies. It is argued that transparency and open data will be damaging for unwarranted trust, but this will open up a space for warranted trust to flourish. Three types of theory about trust and decision-making in politics are discussed: social capital theories, rational choice theories and deliberative democracy theories. Using the UK government’s transparency programme in crime and criminal justice as an example, it is argued that mechanisms being pioneered to disseminate open data online, such as sites like and, promote trust on each theory, although the supply of data is necessary but not sufficient. It is also necessary to consider the wider infosphere, putting deliberative processes in place to foster trust.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1145/2380718.2380747
Related URLs:
Keywords: transparency, trust, open data, crime data, criminal justice data, rational choice, social capital, deliberative democracy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions : Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering > Electronics and Computer Science > Web & Internet Science
ePrint ID: 337558
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
June 2012Delivered
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2012 14:31
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:26
EnAKTing the Unbounded Data Web: Challenges in Web Science
Funded by: EPSRC (EP/G008493/1)
Led by: Nigel Shadbolt
1 April 2009 to 30 September 2012
Further Information:Google Scholar

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