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Right to know: opening Pandora’s box?


Right to know: opening Pandora’s box?

Is a cult of transparency causing as many problems as its advocates claim it solves? Critics argue that informal exchanges are inhibited: people have to always be on their guard, wary of giving an honest opinion. Others argue a culture of transparency may actually encourage more secrecy: ‘Text me instead of emailing’; ‘Phone me and I’ll tell you off the record’. Moreover, is the act of making decisions ‘behind closed doors’ really such a bad thing? After all, we value confidentiality when it comes to our own bank statements and medical records. Has the ‘right to know’ reinvigorated the public understanding of how society really works, or simply ‘furred up the arteries’ of organisations and government? Or will transparency, the right to know, help restore trust and accountability in society? Panellists in this Battle of Ideas debate share their expertise.

Recommended links: Battle of Ideas session details. Right to know: opening Pandora’s box?

Related topics: Civil Liberties, Debates, Democracy-Brexit

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Randolph Ferry said:

Calls for greater transparency have bothered me for a while. It seems that it is used as a kind of default in place of making an argument against something you don’t approve of. It also seems that whilst it is often used against corporations and governments, it could also be used against the wider public in ways which undermine privacy. On the whole it seems a bit too policeman-ish.