The technology firms are using the pandemic of COVID-19 to expand their reach, change their business strategies and capture new public functions and market positions around the world. We aim to relate the long-running investments in computer infrastructures with recent developments in business strategies to understand the implications of the rapid expansion of technology firms globally.

This week I had the privilege of participating in a Wilton Park conference on digital dignity in armed conflict organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross in association with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.…

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.