Why Your City Should Care About Data Cooperatives
Private platforms, including Airbnb and Uber, dominate US cityscapes, using large data pools to influence local policy. This has implications, such as Airbnb reducing housing availability and pushing responsibilities onto local governments, often marginalizing communities like Black people and immigrants. To counteract this dominance, communities need data cooperatives, which ensure local control over their data as a public asset.
Julian Tait of Open Data Manchester highlights the importance of trustworthy data management for equitable use. However, local governments in the US often overlook data cooperatives, focusing more on digital innovations. While sectors like community health show potential for cooperative solutions due to regulations like the Affordable Care Act of 2010, community-led solutions risk being missed.
During Katya Abazajian’s fellowship, she will investigate these cooperatives, exploring data stewardship and community empowerment to promote equitable data use and counter big tech dominance.