Love Data Week 2019 is February 11 – 15 and this year’s theme is “Data in Everyday Life” and the two topics that will be explored are Open Data and Data Justice. Love Data Week (LDW) is conducted via social media and local in-person events and is coordinated by mostly academic research data specialists to raise awareness and provide a collaborative forum on topics related to research data management, including sharing and preserving (among others).
As quoted from the LDW site, data justice is an interesting concept:
Data justice is a concept that has emerged from the increasing amount of data each of us unavoidably generate as we move through the world, and the realization that these data may reinforce or exacerbate existing advantages and disadvantages as they are used to make decisions about us without our input or even knowledge. Data justice requires reflection on how people are made visible (or invisible), represented, and treated as a result of their digital data (Taylor, 2017).
As the theme of this year’s LDW explores data in everyday life, perhaps data justice can also be examined in the context of organizations and businesses and how they use digital data either by mismanaging data internally, and/or using external data/information that has not been properly vetted for quality or authority. Both scenarios, through the use of poor data, can lead to catastrophic outcomes if decisions are made, and actions are deployed based on said data. The data justice angle here is seen as a ripple effect and concerns those businesses that might innocently suffer consequences because they are unknowingly partnering or relying on suppliers for key products and services that lack proper internal data management practices or are utilizing poor external data/information in their decision making.
This is a fascinating concept, whether for our everyday lives or for businesses and organizations, that presents an exciting opportunity for exploration.
Taylor, L. (2017). What is data justice? The case for connecting digital rights and freedoms globally. Big Data & Society, 4(2), 2053951717736335. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/2053951717736335