If we were all attending a conference in person, and I was vegan for political reasons, no one would make me eat the ham sandwich, however we have no space to refuse unethical data-driven systems in work or in life.
- This ritual was an exercise of scaffolding civic disobedience and claiming meaningful consent.
- Consent forms are not enough!
The algorithmic systems that we interact with, and the data silage that nurtures them, demand our care – our ongoing engagement with their construction and maintenance, but give us little opportunity to examine that caring contract, our place is within it, what we might want or need, and certainly no means by which to adapt it.
Opportunities to exist outside of the emerging algorithmic techno-realities are rapidly vanishing – to choose not to use these systems is to banish ourselves. What then for the aspirant non-user? How can we meaningfully consent when data-colonialism has vanished and vanquished all other possible choices, realities and existences?
The power of consent lies not just in its affirmation. In addition to this, having the space to consent means having the space to say no. It is this power to say no that is at risk in the most extensive exploitations that AI carries out. Data-colonialism refers to the world’s saturation with data flows, but also to the communities and planetary spaces whose power to say no have been erased.
- Clarke, R. (2007). Introduction to dataveillance and information privacy, and definitions of terms, Aug. http://rogerclarke.com/DV/Intro.html