Of Owned, Shared, and Public Access ICT
There has been limited sustained attention paid to the concepts of public and private in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), especially in the context of marginalized communities in the ‘Global South’. The nature of ICT appropriation and experience, as well as perceptions of privacy in low-income urban communities, represents the interplay of technological and social capital embedded in place. Much research about the cultural uses of ICT has tended to privilege an individualistic ethos. Such discussions of media use emphasize the value of individual and private ICT use, as opposed to publicness and collective use. The notion of ICTs privately consumed in domestic spaces assumes ownership and the availability of space. However, well articulated in the language of “digital or social inclusion” by governments, this discourse surrounding public ICT use is often focused in the context of “ideological notions of electronic democracy,” where ICTs become accessible to the last mile.