Our lives have become digitised. Data about who we are, what we do and the environment we live and work in is collected about us constantly, whether we realise it or not. Whoever controls that data, be that big corporations or governments, has incredible power.
Yet, amid the hype and worry about the data-driven transformation of our world, there is often something conspicuously missing: personal stories. They ground our understanding that this change is not a remote future, but is a reality in progress that is affecting every relationship and interaction we have, as workers, family members, consumers and as citizens.
By hearing the voices of individuals we can better see the impacts of a datafied society. How we are affected is dependent on our individual circumstances, but the power of data is on a societal level. Whether at school, at work or in the justice system, there is a need to bring in this collective voice.
Through these stories, we aim to not only illustrate the reality of the impact of data on our lives, but to point the way towards a different approach, including:
- a focus on the wider impact of the collection and use of data
- rights for all those affected by data-driven decisions
- processes of participation for the public to help shape a datafied society