Our mission is to address how data and digital technologies impact human rights, social justice, power structures and accountability. We do this by looking critically at the challenges and opportunities these new technologies bring in order to raise awareness, find practical solutions and build capacity.
Tactical Tech Strategy 2017-2019 (Summary)
As digital technologies saturate every aspect of our lives, becoming invisible in our environments and facilitating so many of our interactions, they create great opportunities, but they also pose new problems and challenges that need to be understood and navigated by citizens. In our quantified society, data is being collected and utilised at unprecedented rates by governments and corporations and amongst individuals, and this has the potential to impact autonomy, political agency and power. Technologies enabled by machine learning and algorithms, for example, change the dynamics of our individual autonomy as users and citizens; pervasive data collection and invasive technologies can contribute to a shrinking civil society space and can have a chilling effect on activists, protesters and groups; and the shoring up and mining of valuable data by a few entities is beginning to magnify imbalances of power.
Technologies always reflect the societies and contexts they are utilised within. For this reason, these changes constitute not a technological problem, but a socio-political challenge. The current debates and strategies around ‘privacy’ and ‘security’ may address some facets of the issue, but we need to understand it from the broader perspective of human rights and civil liberties. Much like the environmental movement of the '80s and '90s, today's digital environment presents an agenda-setting moment that calls for a ground-up, practical strategy that complements the important research and policy work that is already underway yet may take some time to be effective. Moreover, changes in technology and uses of data require actions at the level of civil society and engaged citizens, in order to create a broader shift in public opinion, changes in consumer behaviour and an informed response from civil society.
Tactical Tech will implement a ground-up strategy to inform and empower engaged citizens, activists and civil society groups about the impact of technology on human rights, civil liberties, and fundamental freedoms, and the actions they can take in their own lives to affect change. Our work seeks to provide answers to our audiences' most common question: 'What can we do?' Building on 15 years of experience, Tactical Tech’s strategy educates and enables politically motivated citizens and activists worldwide to initiate actionable changes into their day-to-day work. These are practical solutions that can be easily shared and embedded within communities to create widespread networks of change on a global scale.