This project aims to create tools and methods that work as triggers or provocations to initiate critical discourse about digital technology in India. The initial part of the project attempts to study and map out the problems associated with digital technologies that people commonly interact with in India, focusing on data privacy and surveillance. This includes digital identity systems and digital technologies used to augment public healthcare efforts to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. It also studies the dominant narratives about digital technology that invisibilize these problems. This is done through literature review, research into the impact that these technologies have on the lives of different people, and interviews with people working in the field of digital rights and free and open-source software.
Through conducting Scenario-building workshops about the implications of surveillance, with different groups of people, the project attempts to understand the narratives through which people understand digital technology, and their concerns, fears, and hopes regarding the future. The workshops also act as triggers to help people think critically about digital technology and surveillance, and the impact it has on their lives.
The card game titled 'IDscape', is a culmination of initial research about centralized digital ID systems and the surveillance implications associated with them. It acts as an informative tool and a provocation, while also allowing people to come together to play, discuss, and have fun.
The Data Futures workshops are an attempt to collectively imagine alternatives to centralized models of data collection and usage. It is an attempt to question why and how we collect data and in what contexts acts of data collection can be useful, informative, and ethical.
Critical Design, Data privacy and surveillance, Digital technology, Game design, Participatory research