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.

The developments in the case dealing with Facebook tracking its users beyond the social network have reached another level.…

We’re doing some web tracking research. We’ll be writing a bit over the coming months about why this is important, but here’s the gist of it: we live inside a gigantic, worldwide data market where details of everyone’s online behaviour are sold and traded every second, but we don’t really know much about who’s trading them or what gets made available.…

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.