IGF 2022 How can data justice be realised practically?

Jeni Tennison

Jeni spoke at this roundtable at the 2022 Internet Governance Forum, convened by Research ICT Africa, alongside Abeba Birhane and Anita Gurumurthy, chaired by Alison Gilwald.

Data-driven technologies have increasingly permeated every area of life, transforming key sectors and industries as well as introducing new societal challenges. From within the literature and practice developed on data governance to respond to these developments, data justice scholarship emerged highlighting the complex interplays between the intensifying datafication of society and social justice. It sought to counter data-driven discrimination advocating for greater equity in the presence and respresentation of people as a result of the production of their digital data (Taylor, 2017 and Dencik, 2022).

One line of inquiry which built on these scholarly foundations to extend the concept of data justice from the realm of political rights to economic and cultural rights addresses the fact that scholarship and practice has largely developed on the basis of the protection of the rights of individual data-subjects. This is without much consideration of collective rights and values, or of the rights of those excluded from willfully participating in these systems. Among other things, the relation of individual rights to other rights, communal and collective will be explored in this session.

The main objective of the roundtable will be to identify ways in which to translate these concepts of data justice into actionable frameworks across socio-economic, and political spheres to remedy the uneven distribution of opportunities and harms arising from data-driven value creation, both private and public. The conversation will be framed from a global south perspective where data injustices at local or national levels are compounded by challenges of global exclusions.

The roundtable has been written up by the Geneva Internet Platform here.

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