In the Data Justice Lab we carry out research that engages with data analytics from a social justice perspective. This includes research that examines the implications of institutional and organizational uses of data as well as research that provides critical responses to potential data harms and misuses. Areas of research include (but are not limited to): Data discrimination, data colonialism, algorithmic governance, data policy, data uses by the state and other institutions, data-related activism and advocacy.
A focus of our work has been to investigate the implementation of data systems in the public sector and by different government institutions. Our research has critically explored the use of data and AI for border control, in the health system, and for policing, amongst other areas, as well as the increasing roll-out of scoring systems to categorise, segment and assess populations. Some of our most recent research asks how people can participate in, and intervene into, these often obscure processes and decisions, and how we can thus democratise the datafied society.
While concerns with data ethics have struggled to consider the role of civic participation beyond broad calls for greater transparency, rights-based approaches often rely on individualised and narrow action, and many critical perspectives on datafication are siloed as a technology issue and abstracted from social context, our work has developed a data justice agenda that situates datafication in its social and political environments, conditions and power relations.
Since its launch in 2017, the Data Justice Lab has addressed different dimensions of the intersection between datafication and social justice. It has asked how datafication has implicated social justice and how we need to re-think datafication if we take social justice seriously.
To find out more about our current projects, check the Projects page.