Note — Sep 16, 2018

We Need a Digital Commonwealth to Counter Surveillance Capitalism

Seen in → No.49

Source → newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2018/09/w...

Another piece on making our data a commons instead of letting big tech centralize and take possession of it. Interesting for the three step process suggestions. However, a “commons” shouldn’t mean data is centralized in one public service, and the author says the UK should “regulate those activities and companies as public utilities.” Not sure how that would work when none of the companies he talks about are based in the UK? The last step however touches on Morozov’s piece I featured a few weeks ago, i.e. cities might be key to this kind of rethinking.

The challenge is therefore more one of politics, not necessarily technical feasibility; we need a politics capable of shaping the use of technologies and embedding values of openness and equity in the outcomes they generate. […]

Politics should be messy, vibrant and contested, not smoothly algorithmic. But this requires developing strategies to reimagine how data is generated and used, including providing local digital infrastructures and access to data to enable communities, businesses, and civil society to create the tools and services that best serve their needs.