Data and Activism

Data and Activism

Whether a non-governmental organisation or a human rights defender, in today’s society, our data is collected, stored and analysed every step of the way. From visa applications to social media profiles, from attending a conference to meal choices on a flight, sharing a photo from a protest or simply walking past a CCTV camera – we are rendered into data which is quantified, cross referenced and compiled to form profiles about us as individuals and social graphs about us as groups.

Within the blurred lines between corporations and governments; and the elevated threats against the work of human rights defenders in many countries; these profiles take a different dimension beyond corporate interests, and can become at times, the center of the threat model. Under this project, the Data and Activism team aims to trace how this process happens, raise awareness on its different implications; and – where possible – explore protection strategies and creative responses.

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More from this project

Event Promotion for Organisers

This new chapter of the Organiser's Activity Book from our Data & Activism project looks at event promotion. The playful activities, aimed at organisers, campaigners and human rights defenders, explore the consequences, risks and benefits of using tools like social media in terms of personal data.

Travel and Our Data Baggage

What data traces do we leave when we travel? A new chapter of the playful, interactive Organiser's Activity Book helps civil society organisers deal with 'data baggage', including flights, visas and accommodation.

The Organiser’s Activity Book

The Organiser’s Activity Book is a new self-learning resource from Tactical Tech’s Data and Activism project. The book is a collection of playful exercises for organisers within civil society who work with the personal data of human rights defenders, investigators, campaigners, and others who are taking part in social or political action.

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Activism on Social Media: A Curated Guide

There has been a lot of resources written on safer use of digital technologies and social media platforms for CSOs, grassroots groups, activists and politically-active individuals. Here we present a curated list of resources, a pool of links that can help you respond to existing risks and threats.

Data Baggage, Travel and Activism

At every stage, travelling means giving away an immense amount of data that is either required by governments or by companies that provide travel-related services, or that can be automatically generated in the background. This article gives insight into the data you give away when travelling.

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Digital Listening: Insights from social media

When you tweet your opinion about Brexit or Trump, you probably don't expect the content of your tweet to become part of an analysis of public opinion on the topic. This article explains the emerging field of digital listening and how it assess the feeling of individual potential voters and the overall public mood.

On Weaponised Design

Weaponised design is a process that allows for harm of users within the defined bounds of a designed system. This article takes a look at how it can be faciliated by designers who are oblivious to the politics of digital infrastructure or consider their design practice output to be apolitical.

Quantifying Homosexuality: A Critique

This article examines a few moments related to the history of homosexuality and its categorisation. It starts with recent facial recognition algorithms to distinguish straight and gay faces and ends with Alan Turing’s questions about gender and The Imitation Game.