Plight of Information science – Remya Daniel

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Author: Remya Daniel
Company: Zafin Centre of Excellence

Plight of Information science

The word ‘Science’ itself evokes a feeling of geeks working with test tubes, microscopes and chemicals. But it is high time that we view science in broader aspects that are relevant to our society today. Information science is one such area that needs our attention. Wikipedia defines Information science as an interdisciplinary field primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval, movement, dissemination, and protection of information. In this era of computerization in literally all the walks o life, it has become a necessity that the society is aware of this field of science.

The new-gen business ventures for filling up online forms that ranges from a simple exam application form to the complex PAN card application have mushroomed all over our country. It points out the fact that atleast half of the society is either ignorant about the online process or is reluctant to go through the hassle of filling out themselves. It is in fact the society at guilt that quite a few of such ventures switch to fraudulent acts of data theft. Since in most cases there are no options other than the online manner, people undertake the risk and trust such ventures.

Banking has come a long way in the digital world. But it is a known fact that most of the adult population does not know even to operate an ATM let alone internet banking. Cyber frauds have further added more reluctance to use such means too. But closer examinations of such cases reveal that the end users and the bankers have long crossed the threshold to upgrade themselves in the security aspect of information – because there are people out there who outsmart us with their knowledge and very conveniently cheat on us.

Official signatures and seals are all been turned into soft copies for operational convenience. But little do the aged officials know that if their signature security details are shared, it will result in much frauds.

Cybercrimes are not the only reason to spread awareness on information science. Even a simple act of copying publicly available study/research materials in one’s own publication, without quoting adequate references, is a crime known as plagiarism. A sample survey will show that 80% of us have not even heard of this term.

Popular misconception that digital resource is a renewable source is evident in the vast amount of bogus websites, accounts and data shared online. People create multiple accounts in social media quoting the ever-repeated excuse of forgetting old account details. The huge memory and resource used up by such accounts is still inestimable. The case of digital data that belonged to a deceased person is another messy area in itself. A popular daily even carried an article on who owns the digital data of a deceased person – it is indeed yet to be discussed ethically as well as lawfully in our society. Not to mention the unethical practices were people use the deceased person’s digital data as their own. Interestingly, most of the technology giants do not have measures in place to handle such bogus accounts or to free up such memory.

‘theStoryOf’ foundation conducts workshops cum exhibitions on various subjects of science. In the near future we would definitely need one on information science so that the society would come to its sense.