Citizens Data Advice Bureau

Bettina Nissen, Hattie Simms – University of Edinburgh

A dedicated speculative space for citizens and publics to liaise with researchers, technologists and policy makers, to explore new technologies and data services, informing policy/practice guidelines that protect citizens online.

This project aims to investigate what services and advice different groups of citizens require to remain safe online and take online privacy seriously before any harm or fraud occurs. This project proposes a speculative design approach to understanding and exploring the needs of public audiences through critical and creative engagement activities with the matter of potential online harm. We propose a long-term knowledge exchange and engagement programme with citizens through the physical set up of a speculative future vision of a “Citizens Data Advice Bureau” in a public venue. This public space will form a knowledge exchange hub between technical developers, government policy and people’s daily online lives. Through creative interventions and critical design practice, the guiding research questions aim to investigate what methods and services technologists, governments or third sector support organisations should provide to empower wider and more vulnerable audiences to protect themselves against online harm? Where and how can governments or councils help to keep their citizens safe online and what forms of tools or engagements are required to address these current challenges?