The Internet As a Force for Good (If We Feel Like It)

KZ
KZ
Dec 1, 2016 · 2 min read

Countless petabytes of data produced online each day let researchers, marketers and governments build data sets of staggering variety and detail. They know who bought what. They know when it was bought. And they can infer why.

But how often do we stop and ponder the implications of the data we’re collecting — and the data we’re not collecting?

Data sets can help boost profits. They can also fight inequality and empower democracy. But too often they don’t, according to Mimi Onuoha. Onuoha is the artist behind “The Library of Missing Data Sets,” an installation at The Glass Room.

Onuoha spotlights data sets that might enable positive social progress — if only they existed. At The Glass Room, each is given a faux manilla folder and tucked into a plain white filing cabinet.

Among those imaginary indexes:

  • Accurate birth registration data in Rwanda
  • Location-specific data on degradation of land
  • Proportion of traded wildlife illegally poached
  • Employment statistics that include those in federal prisons

The internet is a tool of unprecedented power — and Onuoha spotlights how that power can be squandered, rather than focused on the public good.

Want to engage further? Mozilla’s SmartOn Tracking site helps you gain control of your personal information online.

Mozilla Internet Citizen

We believe the Internet is at its best as a global public resource, open and accessible to all. Blogs, videos, lists, essays and more from Mozilla.

KZ

Written by

KZ

Mozilla Internet Citizen

We believe the Internet is at its best as a global public resource, open and accessible to all. Blogs, videos, lists, essays and more from Mozilla.

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