Our privacy is increasingly threatened in the digital sphere as governments use surveillance technology against their citizens and companies make money off the data traces we leave behind. And while we are becoming increasingly transparent to such powerful entities, the way they handle the data of our lifetimes is anything but transparent.
New data technologies offer governments great potential for the benefit of development and bring representational opportunities for marginalized communities. But where do legitimate actions in the name of National Security reasons start and human rights end?
Information, power, colonialism. All these elements have been known and studied for a long time, but they are now combined in such a way that the functioning of the state has gone through a paradigmatic change.
A small US company is selling an app that might end our ability to walk down the street anonymously. Among its clients: authoritarian states and US immigration enforcement. Jacinta Gonzalez, an organizer with the NGO Mijente, talked with us about why this puts the eleven million undocumented people in the United States at an even higher risk for deportation.
Children consider access to digital media a fundamental right. But they are also the most vulnerable when it comes to online exposure and hardly ever mentioned as a specific group in the broader conversation. How are we preparing children for a world they born in to and can we somehow weapon them for digital perils?
Governments are increasingly collecting our data without giving us the possibility to inquire or appeal, and even leave the decision-making up to algorithms. How can we question authorities and make them accountable for decisions that violate human rights?
Internet has connected people all over the world as never before. Besides, it has enhanced commercial, corporate and political connections, which create more freedom in different spheres. This is the kind of universal democracy hosted by Internet via social connections and social media. But do we have a total democracy on social platforms?
According to Shoshana Zuboff, the popular augmented reality game Pokémon Go is deliberately implemented for commercial profit, at the expense of unaware citizens. She calls it “Surveillance Capitalism”, a bunch of algorithms that apparently completely consume us. Is the 99% now controlled by the tech-savvy 1%?
I have weird relations with Big data and all digital socialization in particular.
After my masters studies on International Business Administration in 2008 I have completely switched off from all the themes that were not directly related to my work or private life. Then one day I have decided to dig a little bit into what people are talking so much about and what seems to be in focus today. The more I started to read and analyse, the more I felt: “Please stop the Earth, I’ll get off!”.