Data privacy is increasingly becoming a contentious issue, with Evgeny Morozov proposing a radical solution: a data strike. The idea is to withhold personal data, thus disrupting the digital economy and forcing tech giants to change their ways. Morozov argues that data is a form of labour, and by withholding it, individuals can demand better terms.

This concept is not new; it has roots in the labour movements of the 19th century. The challenge lies in convincing people to participate, as many are unaware of the value of their data or are unwilling to give up the convenience of digital services.

Morozov suggests a two-pronged approach: educating the public about the value of their data and creating alternative digital services that respect privacy. He also proposes the creation of data unions, similar to labour unions, to negotiate better terms with tech companies.

However, critics argue that a data strike could have unintended consequences, such as hurting smaller companies more than the tech giants. Others question the feasibility of such a strike, given the global nature of the internet and the difficulty of coordinating action across different jurisdictions.

Morozov’s proposal is undoubtedly radical, but it highlights the need for a serious conversation about data privacy and the power imbalance in the digital economy. As we become more reliant on digital services, the question of who owns and controls our data becomes increasingly important.

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