23 February 2017

Data Fumes

'What Is Data Justice? The Case for Connecting Digital Rights and Freedoms on the Global Level' by Linnet Taylor argues 
The increasing availability of ‘data fumes’ (Thatcher, 2014) – data produced as a byproduct of people’s use of technological devices and services – has both political and practical implications for the way people are seen and treated by the state and by the private sector. Yet the data revolution is so far primarily a technical one: the power of data to sort, categorise and intervene has not yet been explicitly connected to a social justice agenda. In fact, while data-driven discrimination is advancing at exactly the same pace as data processing technologies, awareness and mechanisms for combating it are not. This paper posits that just as an idea of justice is needed in order to establish the rule of law, an idea of data justice is necessary to determine ethical paths through a datafying world. The paper will analyse the existing work on data justice and argue for a framework in which it can be brought together into a single framing for further research and debate.