Utrecht Data School

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Mapping best practices of ethically responsible data projects

Recently we started a new project together with the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) and seven municipalities. We will observe the implementation of data projects in seven different municipalities, starting from an initial data ethics impact assessment to their implementation into the public management process. Since 2016 we have had a lot of experience with…

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“There is a political and ethical component to data.”

“Data and algorithms offer many possibilities, but they are not neutral. What you analyse, which algorithms you build, the data you use and what for, these are political and ethical choices. Policy makers are insufficiently aware of this. Furthermore, basic knowledge of data literacy is absolutely necessary for local politicians.” That’s what the Dutch data…

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Governing the Digital Society is a new focus area at Utrecht University

One of the four newly identified focus areas at Utrecht University is Governing the Digital Society. Focus areas interdisciplinarily address research objects of societal relevance and develop novel ways of scientific inquiry. The four new focus areas will receive a total of 1,6 million Euro funding for the period September 2019 to August 2023. Big…

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Heeft uw organisatie een datavraagstuk? Werk samen met Utrecht Data School!

De ‘datarevolutie’, ‘data is de nieuwe olie’, men hoort steeds vaker grootse uitspraken over dataficatie. Maar wat kunt u met alle data die uw organisatie vergaart? En ook: wat kun u er niet mee? Utrecht Data School houdt zich bezig met dit soort vragen en met sociaal-maatschappelijke en ethische vraagstukken met betrekking tot data. U…

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Journal for Media History | Mirko Tobias Schäfer on Entrepreneurial Research

For “Big data Histories”, a special issue of the TMG Journal for Media History, Karin van Es and Eef Masson interviewed the Utrecht Data School co-founder and project lead Mirko Tobias Schäfer. In this interview he describes our distinct approach to research the impact of data and digitization. Initially it was lack of funding that…

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Gartner calls Digital Ethics a strategic trend for 2019 – but ethics are not enough

In its most recent predictions of trends for the coming year, Gartner indicates digital ethics and privacy as a top strategy for companies. As the technology and financial industries, governments and even research institutions grapple with ethical issues raised through the data practices and their social impact, ethics starts to fill the vacuum left by…

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Onderzoek naar de Nederlandse Twittersfeer

Door: Maranke Wieringa, Ludo Gorzeman, Daniela van Geenen, Mirko Tobias Schäfer In een team van onderzoekers verbonden aan de Utrecht Data School (Universiteit Utrecht) en de Hogeschool Utrecht, voornamelijk het lectoraat Crossmediale Kwaliteitsjournalistiek zijn we in een langlopend project bezig om de Nerderlangs(talig)e Twittersfeer in kaart te brengen. Het onderzoek in opdracht van Vrij Nederland en Nieuwsuur…

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Why data need ethics / The more data affect people, the more ethics matter

Tracing ethical issues in data projects with the Data Ethics Decision Aid (DEDA) Data, algorithms and models are not simply neutral. On the contrary, they can constitute significant social impact and affect the individual livelihood as much as larger parts of society. Recently the Unemployment Agency of Michigan has been criticized for using a software…

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Future Directions of Critical Data Studies

From the beginning, the panel had a shared understanding that Critical Data Studies would include or touch upon the inquiry of platforms, algorithms, and data. Informed by software studies, media studies, and the science of technology studies, the emerging Critical Data Studies seem inherently to combine qualitative empirical research methods with digital methods and data…

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Challenging Citizenship: Social Media and Big Data

Editorial Notes Information technology affords that almost all aspects of our lives can be translated into data, data that are used for forecasting, assessment, real-time tracking, targeted advertising and polling. The practice of digitization and the role of electronic information media technology affects to various degrees almost all aspects of everyday life. Web platforms, such…

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