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Transparency (social)

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Title: Transparency (social)  
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Transparency (social)

Transparency is a general quality. It is implemented by a set of policies, practices and procedures that allow citizens to have accessibility, usability, utility, understandability, informativeness[1] and auditability of information and process held by centers of authority (society or organizations). Feedback mechanisms are necessary to fulfill the goal of transparency.


Transparency has been, for long, a general requirement for democratic societies. The right to be informed and to have access to the information has been an important issue on modern societies.


Organizational transparency (for stakeholders)

Transparency in organizations is delimited by ethics and the value of truth (if the value of truth can be verified and in which degree of objectivity). Transparency also must be analyzed as the impact of an organization associated or affiliated with its stakeholders. These impacts need to find out whether the organization's activities are consistent with regard to the society’s interests, whether they are ethical and whether these activities are institutionalized (integrated into the organization).[2]

Target transparency (for consumers)

According to Fung et al.,[3] “target transparency aims to reduce specific risks or performance problems through selective disclosure by corporations and other organizations. The ingeniousness of target transparency lies in its mobilization of individual choice, market forces, and participatory democracy through relatively light-handed government action.”

Social transparency (for citizens)

Social transparency allows citizens to be more informed and encourages the disclosure as a regulation mechanism of centers of authority. It is based on ethics and governance, where the interests and needs are focused in the citizen.

See also

Freedom of speech portal

Further Reading

Byung-Chul Han: Transparenzgesellschaft. Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-88221-595-3.


External links

  • Scope of Transparency
  • Software Transparency. Business & Information Systems Engineering 2(3): 127-139 (2010)
  • Transparency versus security: early analysis of antagonistic requirements. SAC 2010: 298-305

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