Hacking Data for a Better Life

Gilberto Vieira

To whom does data belong? For whom is it most or least accessible? How can data be made more visible, so that it can create new narratives that permit the development of basic community rights? In this session we will discuss how the idea of data sovereignty can work disputing the narrative around surveillance and data capitalism.

The oppressions experienced by coloniality are now being reproduced in contexts where data is central as currency of exchange and sale. Is it reasonable that human lives are unceasingly appropriated through data for capitalism? In the era of data coloniality, it is necessary to map insurgencies and potentiate them as they propose new ways of living and resisting in the third world. 

Civil society today brings together technology, knowledge and creativity, but when isolated from the database and information held by public organizations it can only play an underwhelming role far from the innovative potential that it has. The generation of new services and processes, more open and democratic, in close connection with the needs of their interlocutors, could be greatly enhanced by the availability of databases and information collection from the government and by the appropriate incentive to the use of that information by civil society organizations.

If what we understand as citizenship is worn-out and in crisis, then it is time to discover new spaces for guaranteeing common experiences of action and social transformation. In southern populations, we have found this possible by developing innovative data work. Innovative, perhaps, because it is a right that has been historically denied to society’s least privileged. This time has passed. We demand our protagonism.

re:publica would like to thank its cooperation partner Robert Bosch Stiftung for making this session possible.