Liability of Citizen-generated Information for Disaster Management

by Lea Shanley, Communia Blog, Woodrow Wilson Center Science and Technology Innovation Program, September 1, 2011

“We’re less than a week removed from an historic hurricane Irene and a perhaps even rarer East Coast earthquake. So for all of us, the vital role that first responders play in helping us figure out what’s happening and what we need to do in such instances is fresh in our memories. But it’s not just a job for the pros. Now even average citizens, armed with smartphones undreamt of by previous generations, have a role to play during man-made and natural disasters.The worldwide response to the Haitian earthquake and Japanese Tsunami provided vivid proof that these technologies, and the citizens who use them, are playing an increasingly important role in emergency response and recovery. …Citizen-powered situational awareness was on display in dramatic ways. … But new technologies come with strings attached in the form of new legal and policy questions. In preparation for National Preparedness Month, the Woodrow Wilson Center and the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Foundation co-hosted a panel discussion on “Liability and Reliability of Crowdsourced and Volunteered Information for Disaster Management” in Washington, D.C. on August 30, 2011. …”

For full text of the article and links to the archived video, click here.

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