The loss of Public Goods to Big Tech

This is a a really good essay to understand what is happening on the whole public digital goods front and why we are getting Aarogya setu and health stack instead of hospitals in India. This definition of public goods has been appropriated by BigTech and you see this resulting is newer digital systems like MeITY’s National Open Digital Ecosystem which advocates for more of these redundant systems.


“We submitted ourselves to biometric tracking of our bodies under the false pretense that these technologies would make us safer, when they mostly just jettisoned any expectation we should have of freedom of movement. The systems were faulty and deployed more invasively at people with brown skin anyway, because racist logics undergird both the AI systems and the societies in which they are deployed.”


This is an especially pertinent issue! it is made even more pertinent when one of india’s largest mobile networks talks about leveraging their, ‘digital properties’. The ‘stack’ nature of data infrastructure and Aadhaar act provides a sophisticated enabling platform. I try to capture some of these issues in this illustration here.