POLICY VISIONS OF BIG DATA: VIEWS FROM THE GLOBAL SOUTH
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Policy visions of big data: views from the Global South

 

Government intentions stand at the heart of debates about how big data can and should be used in the Global South. This paper provides new insights by examining the political and economic visions promoted by emerging power governments in Brazil, India and China (the BICs). Doing so is crucial as these countries not only comprise some of the world’s largest populations, but have also demonstrated their initiative in national and international promotion of big data politics. Drawing on a content analysis of strategic and legal documents discussing the use of big data, we identify potential areas for big data cooperation among the BICs by determining the compatibility of national policy visions. Three visions are apparent: data as a force for political liberation or repression, for improving public services and for facilitating development. Successful BIC cooperation is likely related to the latter two, but less probable for the liberation/repression vision. We conclude by identifying the implications of BIC engagement with big data for the Global South more broadly.

Keywords: Big data, BRICS and rising, powers, development, Brazil, India, China

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