Democracy Googled

Aktiviteetti: Puhe- tai esitystyypitSuullinen esitys


The Helsinki-based MyData vision represents an effort to save people from the dead end toward which, as contemporary critics argue, we are being driven by the big data paradigm and information technology with its many alluring applications. According to the vision, the user rights to the data collected about a person, such as shopping data, credit data, telecommunications data, health data, and data stored in individual online services, should reside with the subjects themselves instead of the organisations acquiring the data. We discuss the MyData approach as a product of its times, demonstrating how current critical debate supports technology visions as solutions or corrective measures addressing unsatisfactory developments: other data-driven initiatives, including Open mHealth, the Respect Network, Quantified Self, Healthbank, and, are working towards similar aims, promoting open data and new forms of data-sharing in order to challenge monopolistic and exploitative structures of the data economy. These initiatives diverge from the established asymmetries of power and distribution of personal data; they address the inadequacies of existing informed-consent and privacy-protections systems and are designed to rearticulate concepts – such as participation, sharing, and the public good – by building better technology platforms and data-sharing mechanisms.

First and foremost, the MyData approach is an infrastructure-level intervention; however, the way it is discussed has attracted attention in other quarters, from service-developers and tool makers, who might celebrate ‘the Internet of me’, ‘the person as the platform’, ‘the API of me’, or ‘the mecosystem’. The idea is that individuals are interested in their own data and want to retain responsibility for the data and for the right to confer (and withdraw) related user rights. We consider this me-centricity after discussing the ideological underpinnings of the MyData paradigm shift. For truly promoting a culture that places human-centric goals at the centre of the technology world, work is needed to circumvent the individualistic biases of MyData and to mesh the thinking into the mundane realities of practices that call for other agencies, collectively oriented alternatives and action. The paper concludes by pointing to the directions that the critical work might take, if it follows a path beyond the dominant imaginings of technology innovation that the vision endorses.
Aikajakso1 kesäkuuta 20172 kesäkuuta 2017
Tapahtuman otsikkoDemocracy Googled: 12th Jyväskylä Symposium on Political Thought and Conceptual Change
Tapahtuman tyyppiKonferenssi
SijaintiJyväskylä, Suomi
Tunnustuksen arvoKansainvälinen