The Great Hack workshop wiki

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Some examples

Lessons from "The Great Hack"

  • David Carroll's actions have helped go beyond the usual (lack of) data protection enforcement.
  • Authorities often need complaints and evidence, their investigative and injunctive powers augment then.
  • Anyone can change things by pushing their rights through.
  • Journalists dropped the ball on David Carroll's case.
  • Time for action.

Youtubers' Union

  • Youtubers are affected by algorithms demonetizing their content, based on unclear criteria.
  • In the FairTube campaign, they are demanding better working conditions, mostly through transparency.
  • They are exercising these demands collectively in an alliance with IG Metall (one of Europe's largest labor unions), with a threat of going individual(!) through the GDPR.

By now they got out of their ultimatum to Youtube some formal sitdown encounter.

Uber drivers

  • Uber drivers have a lot of concerns about the algorithm ruling them.
  • When they make demands to Uber, they get some data, but there is always consideration for privacy of passengers.

Transparency surface

  • Black hat hackers use the so-called "attack surface" of a system to figure out its weaknesses, for their own profit.
  • White hats do the same, but for the collective benefit.

We need the same dynamic for platforms. White hats, journalists, etc need more "attack surface". Actually, they need a "transparency surface", i.e. a way to expose information that serve democracy. But platforms often paint these as attack surfaces themselves.

For instance:

  • ads transparency projects for Pro Publica or WhoTargetsMe.


  • Right of access: why it exists
  • Overall strategy: think, request/demand, argue, amplify, pressure; rinse and repeat

Use case

  • Lumascape
  • Facebook

Next steps