Develop Protections Against Data Intensive Systems in the Global South

Governments across the world are radically changing policies and infrastructure, in the hope of enabling economic opportunity and attracting international investment, securing their societies, and strengthening institutions.

They are presenting data and technology as the solutions to complex socio-economic, legal and political problems. Innovations in policies, business models, and technologies enable governments to generate and process ever more data about people. New systems process data on large scales, generating intelligence on individuals, groups, markets, and societies.

But years later, with millions spent and capabilities spreading, we must look beyond the rhetoric of the innovation and the data revolution and refocus on what this should be really about: protecting the individual human being.

Do you live in a “smart city”? Chances are, if you live in a city – even if you are not aware of it – you probably do. Beyond the marketing term – that companies have been using to sell the idea of a city that becomes more efficient, more sustainable and more secure by using technology – what smart cities are really about is the collection of data in the public space by government and the private sector to provide services.