International Information Access Day
In the digital world, access to information is the foundation of knowledge, research, and progress. However, in reality, access to authentic information is challenging in different parts of the world. On International Information Access Day, let's have a view on the issues of limited and excessive information access, its impact, and feasible solutions.
Limited access to information poses an imbalance in various ways while the internet has revolutionized the access of information, it has also boosted the existing unevenness. Additionally, limited data access has a direct impact on researchers, policymakers, and organizations who rely on accurate information for decision-making. However, few industries often face trouble in accessing educational and industrial materials, employment opportunities, and essential healthcare information.
Solutions for Bridging the Information Access Gap
Infrastructure Development: Governments and international organizations should prioritize investment in expanding digital infrastructure to reach rural regions. This includes enhancing internet connectivity, providing electricity access, and supporting community-based initiatives. As we already know in many rural areas in Nepal there is no sign of electricity, this is why infrastructure development plays a vital role here.
Affordable Access:Many Internet Service Providers have already started to lean towards this strategy. Public Wi-Fi networks and affordable devices can significantly reduce the economic disparities in access.
Language Localization:The government should ensure that the translation of information is easily accessible so that linguistic diversity is maintained in the digital world.
Promote Freedom of Information:The nation should advocate for the enactment of freedom of information laws and provide support to organizations working tirelessly to combat censorship and content filtering, ensuring a smooth and free flow of information.
In this digital world filled with social media, we can often see that people share a wide range of information through it. On one hand, there is still a problem relating to freedom of access, and on the other hand, people are excessively sharing information which is unnecessary. People sharing unnecessary personal data might pose a threat in the internet world as cybercriminals are baiting every individual's data. People still need proper awareness of what to share, how much information to share on different platforms, and what kind of data should be shared publicly is the major counterpart. Personally identifiable information should not be shared publicly or made available to anyone. However, any kind of views, opinions, feedback, and general suggestions are widely accepted as publicly available information which are also used for generating research and reports.
For example, there is a survey for a medicine used for severe illness, in this kind of survey any individual is allowed to share information regarding the use of the medicine, its benefits, side effects, taste and color, and impacts on the individual's health, however, you should always be aware that sharing than personal information like your name, location, age, mobile number, identity number, passport, etc., are hidden and not publicly available.
International Information Access Day serves as a reminder of the critical importance of data and information access in today's internet world. Limited access serves as an obstacle to progress and leaves a majority of the global population without essential information, whereas excessive information brings threats to an individual, organization, community, and nation. By addressing implementing solutions, we can take wise steps toward bridging information access. In the long run, creating a more comprehensive digital world where everyone has the opportunity to access the right kind of information as required.