We love our technological devices and the comfort and novelty they offer us. But we have enough evidence that we are now in an abusive relationship with them. We even suspect that they might be possessed by Chupadatos, the Data Sucker.
With its dark intelligence, Chupadatos realized that every search, every click, every like and share could be monetized. Under this logic, our devices were dominated with the narrative that we produce data in exchange of benefiting from free services. The success of this model depends on the belief that the information that feeds the Data Sucker has no value, and that we shouldn’t have anything to hide anyway.
Thus, the Chupadatos became a superpowerful, almost omnipresent force by convincing us that the data we produce can also improve the management of transport, health, public safety, and so on. This logic of the Data Sucker was expanded from the business model of companies of information technology towards insurance companies, real estate,
banks and governments. Today, many of these institutions make conclusions from the analysis of our data, but little we know about the consequences of this fact in the long term.
Beyond that, the belief that algorithmical processing of data reveals neutral and objective truths leads us to the indiscriminate adoption of solutions that can actually amplify social inequalities and injustices, such as racial, class and gender discrimination. Technologies are not neutral, they are biased by those who develop and implement them. And unfortunately, we know large-scale technologies today are dominated by a very limited and elitist group.
This project gathers Latin American stories about how Chupadatos operates in our cities, houses, pockets and bodies through the digital technologies we love. And how they can turn against us.
Coordination phase 2: Joana Varon and Tatiana Dias
Coordination phase 1: Joana Varon and Natasha Felizi
Funder 1: Open Society Foundations,
Funder phase 2: Mozilla Foundation and Derechos Digitales