My Meta is Your Data


Session Title:

  • Sniff, Scrape, Crawl: Part 1

Presentation Title:

  • My Meta is Your Data



  • Panel: Sniff, Scrape, Crawl: Part 1

    A mys­te­ri­ous thing called “data” flows from com­put­ers to com­put­ers, lap­tops to servers, servers to mo­bile phones. But data is use­less with­out a con­text of in­ter­pre­ta­tion. Al­ready, the bat­tle over the pro­duc­tion, own­er­ship and con­trol of these con­texts has been waged for quite some time in the world of web 2.0 and ubiq­ui­tous com­put­ing. A pro­lif­er­a­tion of gray lit­er­a­ture plays a pow­er­ful role in this dy­namic, which is ar­tic­u­lated through di­verse terms of use, li­censes, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional legal frame­works and mul­ti­lat­eral agree­ments. My paper will ex­am­ine dif­fer­ent data prac­tices, tak­ing ex­am­ples from “so­cial” net­works, ac­tivist col­lec­tives and open source com­mu­ni­ties in order to com­pare the key el­e­ments of their eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion. Ex­am­in­ing these ex­am­ples in their di­verse forms, I will look at the re­cent de­ci­sions taken by major fo­rums such as the EU Coun­cil, var­i­ous na­tional par­lia­ments and ACTA ne­go­tia­tors, in order to show how they priv­i­lege a very spe­cific form of so­cial in­ter­ac­tion based on spe­cific data prac­tices. I will an­a­lyze how these de­ci­sions threaten a wide va­ri­ety of spon­ta­neous as well as or­ga­nized col­lab­o­ra­tions, so­cial in­ter­ac­tions, and cul­tural and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ments. In con­clu­sion, I want to em­pha­size the im­por­tance of car­ing for con­texts of in­ter­pre­ta­tion and sug­gest sim­ple as well as more com­plex strate­gies to do so.