Total transparency? - Privacy in the Age of Data Capitalism
Large parts of our lives are captured in the data trails we leave online. Who tracks them and how are they monetized? What is this data worth? Are we drawing the short straw when we trade our data for free in exchange for digital services and the conveniences of the internet? Or are we better off if we embrace a post-privacy world?
More than 1.6 billion people log into Facebook across the globe in a single day. Hundreds of millions use shopping platforms, email providers, file sharing services, mobile payment apps, and other digital tools to go about their daily lives.
Many of these tools are free to use. The companies that created them find value elsewhere: in the stream of signals users produce as they navigate their digital lives. The digital stream allows corporate brands and governments to target people by interest, background, and behavior. And it turns private data into a commodity that can be traded for profit, that can enable control and is sometimes even used for purposes far beyond the intention or knowledge of its original owners.
What rules should be in place for commercial and governmental use of this data? Can we as users regain control over our data trails? The second instalment of the Digital Discourses conference series dives deeply into the complicated relationship between our right to privacy and our desire to browse, communicate, shop, and access services with seamless ease.