Platform Cooperativism: Keep Your Data Safe

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As the outbreak of Covid-19 has forced everything from birthday parties to staff meetings online, millions of us are now sharing data, personal stories and sensitive information over unregulated digital platforms that sell our data to advertisers and political entities. Companies like Zoom have been reaping the benefits, even as they’re increasingly beset by privacy and security concerns. Berlin-based tech entrepreneur Ela Kagel worries that conversations unknowingly recorded could be used as possible incriminating evidence in the future.

Kagel is part of a growing movement called platform cooperativism that believes our digital platforms should be democratic and cooperatively owned by the people who use them. Rather than turn to monopolistic tech companies like Amazon or Facebook, she shares some alternative, scalable models that increase social coordination and protect users’ rights in a cooperative digital space. Ela Kagel joined Micky Metts and Stacco Troncoso in the latest episode ‘Take Back the App’ on The Laura Flanders Show.

This pandemic will eventually end, but what will come next? Will we take real steps to protect our personal data online, or will companies like Zoom become the new normal?

With crisis comes opportunity. That’s why we’re producing this series Forward Thinking on Covid-19. Real systems change is possible, and we’re talking to the people who are working to make it happen. Platform cooperativism is just one example of a movement to create a more inclusive, democratic society. The problem is, people can’t fight for a change they don’t know is possible. These are the conversations we need to be having on a national scale.

We’re working hard to push these conversations into the mainstream, but we can’t do it without your help. As a nonprofit, we depend on your support to keep making content like this. If you value forward-thinking conversations, will you put your money where your media is? Become a sustaining donor today.


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