Economic rights in a data-based society

Economic rights in a data-based society

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This study written by Parminder Jeet Singh, Executive Director of IT for Change, and co-sponsored by PSI and Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES), explores how the advent of a digital society impacts collective data ownership, workers’ rights, and the role of the public sector

Control over data and digital intelligence is the key ingredient of power in the emerging digital society, increasingly shaping the global economic, social and political order.

Widespread access to society’s data – currently in the hands of a few digital corporations – is a precondition for a fair economy, quality public services, public policy-making and democratic governance. Asserting collective ownership rights over data is one of the most fundamental policy issues of our time.

Public sector workers and their unions will need to play an important part in shaping the role of public sector in a digital society – providing data and digital intelligence as public goods, ensuring the development of appropriate digital public institutions, and managing data infrastructures.