In the context of mass-surveillance, traffic analysis and Machine Learning, privacy cannot be a question of individual preference. But how can we make privacy the default and build a global privacy infrastructure, in practice? Current internet business models are all about collecting and exploiting data. With centralised parties running the infrastructure, user consent is a joke. “Take it or leave it” is not a meaningful choice for basic infrastructure. COVID-19 is set to exacerbate this, with more processes going digital, and the roll-out of contact tracing and vaccine certificates. In reaction to centralisation and data exploitation, recent years have seen a wave of decentralised technologies. New protocols, blockchains, DLTs and DAOs aim to challenge surveillance capitalism by proposing new models for the internet. This panel will discuss these as an infrastructural approach, and how it can further the aim of global privacy.
• Can we have a decentralised approach to privacy-preserving infrastructures that removes the big powerful providers that collect data for profit?
• How can we ensure all participants have the right incentives to make the system sustainable?
• By decentralising privacy infrastructure, can we remove the surveillance incentive?
• In such a decentralised infrastructure, who is trusted for what?