Information Integrity in the Information Age

Information Integrity in the Information Age

Simon Rogerson (De Montfort University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-057-0.ch025
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The converging technologies have changed the way we should look at information. Illustrations are used to discuss how we create, communicate and consume information in many different forms. The relationship between information and technology can be both beneficial and problematical. A set of fresh issues has been raised which needs to be fully explored and addressed if we are going to realise the full potential of the information society. The nature of information, the concept of information integrity and the use of information provenance are discussed. It is argued that in the information society there is a moral obligation to address information integrity. Information provenance offers a normative instrument for turning this moral obligation into ethical practice.
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The Nature Of Information

But what is information? Eaton and Bawden (1991) suggest that information exhibits five intangible characteristics which differentiate it from other types of resource. The value of information is difficult to quantify and its value is relative in terms of both time and information users. Information has a multiplicative quality in that it is not lost or decreased if it is consumed and indeed using information often causes it to increase in value and size. Information is a dynamic force within the system it resides which causes that system to flex. There is no predictable life cycle of information, indeed once dormant information can become current and valuable in changed circumstances. Finally information manifests itself in different forms relating to particular situations. Meyer (2005) extends this list to include other characteristics. Information has the attribute of alleviating uncertainty. Information is always an essential intrinsic component of technology. Information is a catalyst to enhance economic growth. Information extends the knowledge base. As Macgregor (2005) states, “Ultimately information behaves in a unique manner when compared to other resources because it essentially represents the genesis of human thought, and is heterogeneous and intrinsically intangible.”

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