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Digital sovereignty and public authorities’ efforts to “byte” back

Profile photo of Mats Fred. Photo.
Mats Fred, Department of Political Science, Lund University.

Mats Fred and Alexander Paulsson write about two public transport authorities (PTA) who went from procuring IT and digital services to build in-house IT-capacity to gain power and control over “the digital”.

Through a study of app making, this study shows that digital sovereignty is not only about controlling software development or data ownership, but also about re-configuring the organization in relation to digital artifacts, such as apps. By bypassing procurement procedures and paralleling the IT-departments, the PTAs here display how digital sovereignty may come from “below,” originating from frustrated civil servants within the public authorities who literally tried to “byte back” in a digital world greatly run by large tech companies.

Authors: Mats Fred and Alexander Paulsson

Title: Making apps, owning data: Digital sovereignty and public authorities’ arrangements to “byte” back

Link to the publication: