By Sophie Bloemen, director of Commons Network.
At the European Commons Assembly in Madrid at Media Lab Prado last year, co-organised by Commons Network, one workshop was dedicated to ‘Data Commons’.
We had a very solid, knowledgeable group and developed an analysis along the lines of a matrix (see picture). We identified three categories:
The workshop included participants from Holochain, Wikimedia, Commons Network and Guifinet/netcommons, amongst others.
Some of the problems we highlighted:
- Confusion between commons and public administration.
- Centralisation -> monopolies > state surveillance
- Appropriation and selling of commons data
- Life is monetised by big monopolies and entities that collect data
- Centralisation of fate in few private actors
- Fragmentation of data (loss of potential value for common good)
- Lack of resources for managing big data
- Info not optimised for purpose
- Transversal knowledge versus tailored knowledge
- People are easily manipulated targets
- Companies verses cities.
- Lack of awareness of importance of data
Some of the counter-actions we identified, happening now:
- Open data policies and law
- Public interest data
- Regulatory strategy (GDPR)
- Institutional awareness
- Open science cloud.
- Distributed hosting with internal currency
- Interoperable agent-centric systems
- Data cooperatives, repositories, data commons
- Alternative narration of data
- Creating alternative infrastructures (DECODE, GUIFINET)
- Applications as governance / communities of purpose
- Campaigning for privacy
- N-1 Social Network (like telegram mixed with linked in)
- Proyecto la escalera
A few of the solutions and strategies we talked about:
- The ability to build and alternative imaginary and reach the general public
- Create a counterbalance to the power of companies
- Strong regulation
- Public-Civic partnerships
- Governance of the data
- Ensure funding for alternative p2p infrastructures
- serving public interest
- providing ‘public service’
- democratic governance
- of the institutions / company / initiative
- of the technology
- Technical criteria for example: open, good license on data, auditable interfaces