For the final project, I would like to work on a resource or tool to 1.) teach the general public awareness of threats to privacy and their potential outcomes, 2.) offer practical and practicable means of evading these common threats, and 3.) help those users feel empowered to enact broader changes in the shared society regarding digital and privacy rights, rather than feeling overwhelmed with hopelessness or futility. By the general public, I mean users who are generally comfortable with common usage of the Internet in terms of e-mail, social media, and overall general consumer use; as well as those less comfortable with Internet use or those on the other side of the digital divide, who I have found often avoid expanding their usage of these technologies due to, among other things, privacy concerns. Making the Internet accessible, safe, and equitable is a priority for me.
The first step I want to take towards creating this is a consensus with my cohort; I will happily throw my effort behind a cohesive idea for enacting these, and other, priorities. I think a website or app is a good idea, but I’d also like to see online resources include offline components–in-person workshops, something like a PSA campaign, a print resource–and any finished product we accomplish should be accessible to those with less skill with or access to consumer tech, those who speak languages other than English, and people with disabilities.
The long term vision I have for this is a resource that average consumers will feel comfortable going to for knowledge and steps they can take to protect themselves, their families and communities, and their greater societies through individual and collective action, with the confidence that they are adequately equipped and reasonably able to ensure their personal and collective digital well-being.
The challenges to making this happen are probably scale, funding, commitment of personnel, and the fact that we are in a period of major upheaval and uncertainty in the immediate present. Once the project got off the ground, I think persuading the general public that this is an important priority, and one that they have not only the bandwidth for, but the ability to affect change on, would be the major obstacle to surmount.