Category: Data Politics

Is a breakdown in trust, transparency and social cohesion a price worth paying for more extensive data linkage?

The aggregation and linkage of data collected by different public services can often be presented unproblematically as a solution to various social issues, notably so in the last year in response to the public health crisis of COVID-19. Drawing on new …

Who benefits from data for good?

The central proposition of ‘data for good’ is that corporations should publicly share data sets derived from their business activities across various areas of the economy to improve and guide policymaking. Based on their study of contributors to the Bi…

Side-stepping safeguards – Data journalists are doing science now

An aspect of the media landscape that has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic has been the increasing role of media organisations in presenting and undertaking their own, often complex, data analyses. In this cross-post Irineo Cabreros, discusses…

Exposing the Costs of Uncounting, a review essay

What does it mean to be ‘uncounted’? It means that the uncounted – an event, an individual, a group – is invisible, absent from a world built on data. In this review essay, Mariel McKone Leonard examines two recent books, Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez and The Uncounted by Alex Cobham, that take up the task of documenting the true extent of uncounting and … Continued

Simple data visualisations have become key to communicating about the COVID-19 pandemic, but we know little about their impact

If you had mentioned ‘flattening the curve’ in 2019, chances are you would have been met with a blank stare. However, almost halfway through 2020, the language of data visualisation has become commonplace, and data visualisations are widely used to communicate about the pandemic to the public. However, as Helen Kennedy observes, their power to … Continued

Book Review: The Costs of Connection: How Data is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating It for Capitalism by Nick Couldry and Ulises A. Mejias

In The Costs of Connection: How Data is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating It for Capitalism, Nick Couldry and Ulises A. Mejias argue that the quantified world is not a new frontier, but rather the continuation and expansion of both colonialism and capitalism. This book shines in using the theory underpinning the idea of data colonialism to articulate sites of resistance, writes […]

Book Review: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff

In The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, Shoshana Zuboff offers a comprehensive account of the new form of economic oppression that has crept into our lives, challenging the boundless hype that has often surrounded the activities of modern technology companies. While the book presents a decent history of the rise of surveillance […]

Book Review: This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev

In This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality, Peter Pomerantsev takes readers on a gripping journey through the disinformation age, drawing on his own family history as well as encounters with numerous figures positioned on both sides of the information spectrum: those working to manipulate our perceptions and those engaged in the struggle for a more facts-based public sphere. Ignas Kalpokas highly […]

Tale of the converted: how complex social problems have made me question the use of data in driving impact

In practice the way in which research impacts and influences policy and society is often thought to be a rational, ordered and linear process. Whilst this might represent a ‘common sense’ understanding of research impact, in this cross-post John Burgoyne reflects on how upending the primacy of data and embracing complexity can lead to a more nuanced and effective understanding […]