Trends

Citizen regulators

In an era of budgetary constraints and limited resources, regulators may find it difficult to collect all the data they need. However, regulators have a valuable new data source to tap into—data from citizens. But this goes beyond just data collection, niche groups of citizens with increasingly powerful tools, social and otherwise, become formidable civic crusaders. These “activists by night” undertake distributed monitoring and protection of the environment, organizing through websites such as witness.org. They also participate indirectly, opening up the sensors in their mobile devices and homes for use in large-scale monitoring programs.

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