Category: Data

The vaccine passport debate reveals fundamental views about how personal data should be used, its role in reproducing inequalities, and the kind of society we want to live in

Helen Kennedy draws on evidence from the Living With Data survey to link public attitudes to data collection and use to views on Covid-19 vaccine passports. Finding widespread concern about the involvement of commercial technology companies in such ini…

Book Review: What Do We Know and What Should We Do About Social Mobility? by Lee Elliott Major and Stephen Machin

In What Do We Know and What Should We Do About Social Mobility? Lee Elliott Major and Stephen Machin give an account of the long experience of social mobility in the UK, its barriers and a possible way out. Offering a strong base for those who are new …

Book Review: The Crowdsourced Panopticon: Conformity and Control on Social Media by Jeremy Weissman

In The Crowdsourced Panopticon: Conformity and Control on Social Media, Jeremy Weissman explores the role of ‘peer-to-peer’ surveillance through social media and how this is increasingly shaping our behaviour. This is a welcome addition to the scholarl…

Book Review: The Technology Takers: Leading Change in the Digital Era by Jens P. Flanding, Genevieve M. Grabman and Sheila Q. Cox

In The Technology Takers: Leading Change in the Digital Era, Jens P. Flanding, Genevieve M. Grabman and Sheila Q. Cox explore how organisations and managers can lead change and pursue strategic opportunities at a time when contemporary digital technolo…

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

The (il)logic of legibility – Why governments should stop simplifying complex systems

Thea Snow, discusses how the desire to make complex systems ‘legible’ can serve to constrain policymaking and lead to decisions that reproduce an idealised, legible, but fundamentally limited vision of the world around us.  Sometimes, you learn about an idea that really sticks with you. This happened to me recently when I learnt about “legibility” … Continued