What is digital sovereignty?
Digital Sovereignty or Cyber Sovereignty is the degree of control an individual, organization or government has over the data they generate and work with at local or online platforms.
Loss of control over data represents a strategic risk for our society. individuals, businesses and governments are surveilled and their data is monetized by foreign corporations.
When societal debates take place on platforms owned by corporations and hosted in countries with a vested interest, how can we trust the results?
When nearly all commerce flows through a few select platforms these platforms control the prices and capture most value.
Innovation on new technologies in machine learning and big data analysis depend on vast data treasures that are not available to domestic businesses.
What could happen?
|Foreign governments spy on important business deals to benefit their firms||yes|
|Foreign government interfere in domestic political discussions and elections||yes|
|Foreign-controlled communication platforms foment ethnic tensions||yes|
|Foreign government disrupts civilian infrastructure||yes|
|Large corporations ignoring domestic law and agreements and abusing customer data||yes, yes…|
|Large corporations using their market power to thwart attempts at changing their behavior||yes|
|Companies find out from shopping behavior if teenagers are pregnant and out them, or target teenagers at their most vulnerable time||yes, yes|
|Companies put hidden microphones in devices and when find out claim they had no idea it was recording users||yes|
|Commercial data tracking leaks secret military bases||yes|
|Commercial firms leaking data allowing people to track heads-of-state||yes|
|What is next?|
Where is our data today?
Most data from citizens and businesses is at a small number of large, for-profit corporations. Most of these are headquartered in and thus under political control of the US and China. Everyone else, including hundreds of millions of users in India, Indonesia, Brazil or the entire continent of Africa are deeply dependent on services these companies provide.
Democratic oversight is minimal and access to these platforms can easily be weaponized. Just like economic sanctions harms financial services, digital sanctions could shatter the means of communication in a country and isolate it from international trade and information access.
How do we fix this?
Read posts from guest authors on our blog and pitch in