September 2, 2010
Efforts to extend access to “data” will perhaps inevitably create a “data divide” parallel to the oft-discussed “digital divide” between those who have access to data which could have significance in their daily lives and those who don’t. Associated with this will one can assume, will be many of the same background conditions which have been identified as likely reasons for the digital divide—that is differences in income, education, literacy and so on. However, just as with the “digital divide”, these divisions don’t simply stop or be resolved with the provision of digital (or data) “access”. What is necessary as well, is that those for whom access is being provided are in a position to actually make use of the now available access (to the Internet or to data) in ways that are meaningful and beneficial for them.