q/uintessenz fights for the restoration of civil rights in the digital realm. This means e.g. the freedom to communicate without being eavesdropped and to move through the streets of our cities without being monitored. Citizens have a right to be left alone, to shop or communicate anonymously, to determine how personal data is stored and used.
Interview with Georg Markus Kainz, president of q/uintessenz
Who / what are you?
q/uintessenz is a human rights organisation challenging the effects of technological change on our society and keeping a watch on companies that collect and process our personal data.
What are your fields of activity?
Technological evolution has started to pervade all aspects of our lives. People promote innovation without any regard for risks and side-effects. q/uintessenz aims to analyse the advancement of technology and to inform about the potential effects.
How big is your team?
As an NGO dedicated to data privacy, we don’t want to keep a register of members. So, anyone who wants to join us can collaborate on our projects.
How do you reach your goals?
Only when you understand how technology works can you keep track of your digital footprint. Trainings and direct information are our methods of raising awareness.
What challenges do you face?
The companies with the highest market value could only grow because of our personal data. For their lobbying activities, they use their influence and advertising budgets to influence society to their advantage. We do not have money for advertising, but we still need to create a counter-public that is aware of the value of personal privacy.
What do culture and data have in common?
Both culture and data privacy are about what people make of it individually.
Since when have you been at Q21?
Since the foundation of Q21 in 2002, q/uintessenz has been one of the first institutions. Even before, our earliest events were already connected to MuseumsQuartier.
Data privacy is…
…our individual decision of what information about our lives we want to share with others. There’s a reason for data privacy being a human right.
Every Friday from 20:00 at the q/office at Q21/MQ. Virtual attendance is possible.
Big Brother Awards
On 25 October each year, the day before the Austrian National Day, we host the Big Brother Awards. This year - due to the current situation - there will be a live-streaming event at Rabenhof Theater.
Date: Sun, Oct 25, from 20:00
In September we present Q21 instituition EDUCULT, who connects culture, education and politics in theory and practice.
Q21 Backstage: ASIFA Austria’s showroom, interfacing animation and fine arts, presents selected examples of Austrian and international installations connected to animation in a diversified sequence of artist portrayals.