Published: November 2021
Author(s): Igor Calzada, Marc Pérez-Batlle, Joan Batlle-Montserrat

Declarations and manifestos have emerged across the world claiming to protect citizens’ digital rights. Data-driven technologies in global cities not only have yielded techno-euphoria but also have intensified techno-political concerns as reflected in UN-Habitat’s flagship program called “People-Centered Smart Cities” (PCSC) that advocates the willingness to promote inclusiveness while subverting the technocratic smart city meaning. Against this backdrop, in 2018, the city councils of Barcelona, Amsterdam, and New York formed the Cities’ Coalition for Digital Rights (CCDR), an international network of cities—currently encompassing 49 cities—to promote globally citizens’ digital rights. This article explores what “the right to have digital rights” may currently mean through action research to examine six digital rights-related factors. Full findings revealed not only distinct strategies—related to AI adoption—but also common policy patterns in the 13 CCDR cities.

Keywords
data, digital rights