Rule of Law: How Digital Tools Can Provide Checks and Balances
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Governments do not exist without their citizens. Yet, the interests of these two poles often clash, sometimes stretching the extent of this relationship. With the introduction of crowd-sourced platforms and other digital tools, government administrations are getting closer to their citizens and becoming more aware of their needs, enabling the creation of a well-communicated network that is constantly exchanging insights.
The scenario Rule of Law anticipates the potential impact emerging technologies have to bridge the gap between citizens and their governments, featuring platforms that are shifting vertical governments horizontally and giving access to all.
According to recent research by Statista, across the European Union, the least-trusted key institutions in 2019 were political parties (only 19% of respondents reported trust), followed by national governments and parliament (both 34%). In spite of that, more than half of the respondents stated trust in public administration agencies, the legal system, and regional or local public authorities.
Considering that trust is an important element for crisis management and public integrity, the digitization of public administration could represent a new perception by citizens towards politics and the exchanges between both parties. By adopting technologies such as Real-Time Mapping, Emergency Citizen Responder, and a Citizen Legal Support App, governments could be more proactive in the monitoring of crime rates as well as more supportive in the case of occurrences.
From a more preventive perspective, analytic and predictive tools such as Machine Learning Data Analytics governments could take advantage of the data constantly gathered through these tools to offer more effective solutions for the welfare and daily needs of dwellers. Likewise, tools such as a Social Program Matching Database are useful to connect people and projects with already existing programs, thus solving their demands in a more efficient way.
In terms of communications, transparency, and the challenges of misinformation, public agencies can benefit from solutions such as an Algorithmic Bias Detection Tool and a Deep Fake Detection Tool to flag any occurrences of defamation or disruption attempts to public welfare through the spread of fake content. One recent example in this sense was the release of a deep fake video of Manoj Tiwari, President of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party; footage that marks the first time a political party has used such technology for campaigning purposes.
Considering Europeans uncertain feelings about their political parties, during elections these issues could be more evident through voter participation turnout. According to research published in the European Union Politics journal, some reasons why Europeans did not vote in the recent elections include the negative effects of online forms of communication and engagement. Instead of relying on the classic communication strategy of political campaigns, resources such as Candidate Matching platforms may help people to decide who they will vote for, as well as Mobile Crowdsensing Platforms that serves as a space for debate both prior to elections and also as an ongoing initiative for administrators to keep an eye on.