Prior to the pandemic, popular opposition to the power of Big Tech was growing. Yet, in the COVID-19 moment, Big Tech has emerged stronger than ever. Dependence on digital platforms has delivered record profits for the likes of Amazon (and Zoom on which this webinar relies), while states are rolling out new apps with corporate partners in the name of a health emergency with almost no consideration of privacy or human rights. A new digital economy opportunism is deepening faultlines of inequality, while systems of surveillance are being normalised that will invariably be deployed along class and race lines.
This webinar explores who owns our data and why it matters, the relevance of data extraction for countries in the Global South, and the impact of COVID-19. What strategies, structures and institutions are needed at national and international levels to confront Big Tech and reclaim our data commons? What opportunities are available in this time of a pandemic to advance digital justice?
• Anita Gurumurthy, Founding member and director of IT for Change, India
• Ben Tarnoff, Tech worker, writer, and founding editor of Logic magazine, US.
• Caroline Nevejan, Chief Science Officer for City of Amsterdam
• Nanjira Sambuli, Researcher and advocacy strategist, Kenya
• Vahini Naidu, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, South Africa