Safeguarding Democracy with Open Standards

By Francis Beland, Executive Director, OASIS Open

I have been writing a lot lately on the power of open standards but never has it been better displayed than in protecting democracy. Let me know what you think…

Open standards can play a critical role in protecting democracy by promoting transparency, interoperability, and accessibility in the digital sphere. Here are a few ways in which open standards can help safeguard democratic values:

Promoting transparency: Open standards ensure that data and information are openly available and can be accessed and verified by anyone. This helps to prevent the spread of disinformation, propaganda, and fake news, which can undermine democratic processes.

Encouraging interoperability: Open standards ensure that different systems can work together seamlessly, which is crucial for democratic institutions that need to share data and collaborate with each other. Interoperability also promotes competition and innovation, which can help to prevent monopolies and maintain a level playing field for all.

Enhancing accessibility: Open standards can help to ensure that everyone has access to digital tools and services, regardless of their socioeconomic status or location. This can help to empower marginalized communities and ensure that everyone has a voice in the democratic process.

Providing security: Open standards can help to ensure that digital systems and data are secure and resistant to hacking, data breaches, and other forms of cyber attacks. This is crucial for protecting democratic institutions and preventing outside interference in the democratic process.

Overall, open standards can help to promote democratic values by ensuring that digital systems are transparent, interoperable, accessible, and secure. By adopting open standards, democratic institutions can help to build trust with citizens and promote a more inclusive and equitable society.