Episode 4 — Decolonisation, Global Solidarity, and Coalition-Building

In this episode of Resist and Reboot we speak with Sarah Chander who is a Senior Policy Advisor at EDRi- European Digital Rights an association of civil and human rights organisations from across Europe. The organisation works to defend rights and freedoms in the digital environment. Sarah discusses the work that EDRI does through policy and advocacy in areas such as in areas of biometrics and mass surveillance, consultations around the European AI legislation, and questions of privacy and data protection.

Through her work at Equinox which she co-founded, Sarah also discusses the ways in which questions of racial justice intersect with questions of digital rights. In this regard she examines how digital rights are human rights, and argues for how we need to center this framing in thinking about the implications of digital technologies in our lives.

Through discussions on the myth of universality, and the importance of amplifying marginalised voices, Sarah examines the ways in which digital technologies can exacerbate existing forms of oppressions , and why it is important to decolonise digital rights such that we can acknowledge that oppressions in the form of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia or transphobia have roots in coloniality. Through connecting with different communities and organizations, we discuss the importance of solidarity making, and coalition building, both as a strategy and an imperative to be able to understand, share and examine how to develop a global understanding of justice in a digital sphere.

About the project

Places and populations that were previously digitally invisible are now part of a ‘data revolution’ that is being hailed as a transformative tool for human and economic development. Yet this unprecedented expansion of the power to digitally monitor, sort, and intervene is not well connected to the idea of social justice, nor is there a clear concept of how broader access to the benefits of data technologies can be achieved without amplifying misrepresentation, discrimination, and power asymmetries.

We therefore need a new framework for data justice integrating data privacy, non-discrimination, and non-use of data technologies into the same framework as positive freedoms such as representation and access to data. This project will research the lived experience of data technologies in high- and low-income countries worldwide, seeking to understand people’s basic needs with regard to these technologies. We will also seek the perspectives of civil society organisations, technology companies, and policymakers.