Our radical proposal to democratise technology

by Renata Ávila

Each and every aspect of our daily lives, work and relationships are somehow influenced or mediated by technology. And its interrelation with other systems, and the power it exercises on processes and sectors, is undeniable. Therefore, its alignment with human rights and human dignity is indispensable for democracy.
Today Europe lacks a positive agenda to aim efforts, investment, institutions in that direction. Europe has been co-opted by the US and Chinese technology lobbies in Brussels and it’s letting its talent and the data of its citizens fly to its competitors. Even after the approval of the GDPR, a golden standard in privacy protection, Europe is still pursuing a digital transformation based on surveillance capitalism and data extractivism. A digital society for the few, of exclusion and exploitation, of maximum interactions, incompatible with its green ambitions and only benefiting one sector.
Europe can and must do better. Decisions about technology should not be irreversibly delegated to technocrats, corporations and tech monopolies. At DiEM25, we have been working to develop an alternative and are pleased to announced that our Tech Pillar has reached its voting phase. The Tech Pillar we present today proposes a Europe with democratised technologies and innovation, which puts citizens before companies, sustainability before narrow profit and responsibility before technological feasibility.
We imagine a Europe that preserves human dignity; the right to encryption, the right to computation, defined as the right of unconditional and unlimited access to public computing resources and infrastructure; the Right to an Algorithmic Opt-Out and much more. The new rights declared in the proposed paper must be followed by the creation of institutions to enforce them.
Because the policies of our Tech Pillar call both for new institutions and a participatory governance of technology. European citizens will have an opportunity not only to understand how technology works but also to participate in ways that shape it for the common good. Because democracy is what will save our future, not more technology.
The radical proposal we invite you to review and vote for today puts a stop to tech solutionism, but also to tech pessimism, depositing the future in the hands of European citizens, equipped with the tools to decide the technological future they want.
Let’s start by voting for it and adopting it. Let’s follow it with a campaign for the newly-elected European Parliament to implement it, to build a future which leaves the current model obsolete, not people.
Read the proposed tech pillar

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