We are looking so forward to our visit to the Utrecht Data School next week. We will be talking about current Lab research, we’ll get to use and discuss the Utrecht Data School’s much needed Data Ethics Decision Aid and we will all be sharing ideas about teaching ‘big data’.
The registration for our conference Data Justice 2018 is now open.
Full fee: £75 (early bird, 31st of January, 2018) / £100 (full rate)
Reduced student fee: £50 (early bird, 31st of January, 2018) / £75 (full rate)
All participants must register by 28th of February, 2018
The Data Justice Lab will co-host a session at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) which will take place in Geneva this week. The IGF is an annual conference that brings together representatives of governments, business, and civil society to discuss current issues regarding internet policy. It is the main forum for a diverse set of stakeholders globally to exchange views on a range of topics, from internet censorship to net neutrality, and from surveillance to the digital divide. The Data Justice Lab will co-host the session ‘Datafication and Social Justice: What Challenges for Internet Governance?’ on Thursday, 21 December, 9am, together with the Datactive project (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) and the Center for Internet & Society (Bangalore, India).
We are delighted to launch our Data Harm Record, a project led by our co-director Joanna Redden.
The aim of this document is to provide a running record of ‘data harms’, harms that have been caused by uses of big data. The goal is to document and learn from where things have gone wrong. The document compiles the examples of harms that have been detailed in previous research and publications. Each listed example contains a link to the original source.
The Data Harm Record pulls together concrete examples of harm that have been referenced in previous work so that we might gain a better ‘big picture’ appreciation of how people have already been negatively affected by uses of big data. A survey of harms also suggests where things may go wrong in the future and ideally stimulates more debate and interventions into where we may want to change course. The idea is that we can learn a lot by paying attention to where things have gone wrong and by considering data harms in relation to each other.
Please note: This document records harms that have already happened. There is a great deal of research raising concerns about how harm may be caused in the future. Such work is incredibly important, but not a focus of this record.
We are honoured and delighted to have Professor Richard Heeks from Manchester University join us for a seminar on Wednesday 6th of December to discuss his groundbreaking work on data justice. Below are the details for anyone who wants to join us!
Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 4pm, Rm 0.05, Bute Building
Professor Richard Heeks (University of Manchester)
Title: Conceptualising and Applying Data Justice
Abstract: Building from the literature on justice, this presentation will discuss different ways in which data justice may be conceptualised. This includes just impacts of data systems (instrumental data justice), just handling of data (procedural data justice), and deeper ideas around rights-based and structural data justice. The presentation will then explore the results of current research utilising a combined conceptualisation that draws from Amartya Sen’s ideas on justice as growth in freedoms and capabilities. This is applied to recent pro-equity digital interventions in urban contexts of the global South, such as community mapping and e-participatory budgeting. It finds incremental improvements in data justice relating to visibility and engagement of marginalised urban communities; but that structural constraints have so far limited the extent to which data justice is delivered. The presentation concludes with some ideas on future research and practice priorities for those wishing to promote data justice.
Bio: Richard Heeks is Chair in Development Informatics at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, UK; and Director of the Centre for Development Informatics. He has been consulting and researching on informatics and development for more than 30 years. His book publications include Implementing and Managing eGovernment (2006), and Information and Communication Technology for Development (2017). His research interests are data-intensive development, e-resilience and e-sustainability, digital development, and the digital economy in developing countries.
We are delighted to welcome Dr Anna Feigenbaum (Bournemouth University) to the Data Justice Lab at Cardiff University. Anna will give a talk on uses of data in social justice research in relation to her new book Tear Gas published by Verso. The talk will take place on Wednesday 29th of November at 4pm in Bute Building, room 0.05. The talk is free and open to all. Further details about the talk and Anna below.
From Scraping to Storytelling: Dealing with Data in Social Justice Research
Drawing from my experience founding the Bournemouth University-based, Civic Media Hub and Datalab project, in this reflective research presentation I highlight challenges and opportunities that come with practices of data storytelling for social justice. Specifically, I reflect on data gathering, the ethics of data visualization, and the problem of data distortion, particularly when working with sensitive issues and vulnerable populations.
While the rise of big and open data diversifies the kinds of stories we can tell with numbers, sensitive subjects often have no straightforward data source, documents are scattered across agencies and organisations, or are kept hidden. This ‘uneven transparency’ raises important questions about the duty to document (Larsen 2014), particularly in regard to vulnerable populations (prisoners, detainees, those living in conflict zones).
In relation to data visualization, recent years have seen an increasing popularity of the use of infographics, maps and other media interactives. At the same time, giving visual narrative to numbers comes with risks and ethical issues that researchers must address, including the statistical and graphic representation of people’s lives and deaths.
Linked to these challenges of access to data and its representation, perhaps the biggest challenges in data-driven storytelling is data distortion. In every stage of the data storytelling process, from gathering information to circulating a visualisation on social media, distortion can come into play. For this reason we believe that transparency around data storytelling processes and data sources is at the heart of data storytelling for social justice.
Dr. Anna Feigenbaum is the author of Protest Camps (Zed 2013), Tear Gas (Verso 2017) and the forthcoming Data Storytelling Workbook with Minute Works design studio (Routledge 2019). She is a Principal Academic in Digital Storytelling at Bournemouth University where she is the PI and founder of the BU Civic Media Hub and Datalabs project. Established in 2014, this project was designed to bring together a multidisciplinary, cross-Faculty team of academics and students from Communications, Geography and Data Science to work in collaboration with Journalists, NGOs and digital designers to co-create effective ways of engaging sensitive social issues through data analysis and communications. Through continued workshops and public events, our team engages in a participatory approach to data storytelling that combines principles of design, narrative theory, scaffolded technology learning and hacklab style collaborations. Read more at: http://www.civicmedia.io/
The Data Justice Lab is looking for a Research Assistant (9 months, fixed term) to work on the project ‘Data Scores as Governance: Investigating uses of citizen scoring’ and assist with developing the profile of the Data Justice Lab.
– Investigate the use of data scores across different levels of government, through internet research, document analysis, and academic literature reviews
– Plan and conduct research interviews with members of public, private and non-profit sectors
– Support the development of digital research outputs, including a visual interactive map
– Help organise a project-related workshop
– Contribute to research publications and presentations
– Help with the development of the Data Justice Lab, including administering the Lab’s website, exploring funding opportunities and institutional collaborations, and developing research ideas.
You should have a degree (MA or PhD) in media and communications, social sciences or a related field; an understanding of, and interest in, the role of ‘big data’ in society, and the processes and implications of datafication; knowledge of research methods and techniques, particularly interviews; and be comfortable working with partners from a diverse background (academia, policy, technology, civil society).
Deadline for applications: 4th of December, 2017
Expected start date: 1st of January, 2018
Apply here: http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BFR617/research-assistant/
For queries, contact Lina Dencik (DencikL@cardiff.ac.uk), Arne Hintz (HintzA@cardiff.ac.uk) or Joanna Redden (ReddenJ@cardiff.ac.uk).