What Is Data Justice? The Case for Connecting Digital Rights and Freedoms Globally.

Linnet Taylor

Linnet Taylor

Linnet Taylor is Assistant Professor of Data Ethics, Law and Policy at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT). She was previously a Marie Curie research fellow in the University of Amsterdam’s International Development faculty, with the Governance and Inclusive Development group. Her research focuses on the use of new types of digital data in research and policymaking around issues of development, urban planning and mobility. She was a postdoctoral researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, and studied a DPhil in International Development at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Her work focuses on data justice – the development of a framework for the ethical and beneficial governance of data technologies across different regions and perspectives.

About the project

Places and populations that were previously digitally invisible are now part of a ‘data revolution’ that is being hailed as a transformative tool for human and economic development. Yet this unprecedented expansion of the power to digitally monitor, sort, and intervene is not well connected to the idea of social justice, nor is there a clear concept of how broader access to the benefits of data technologies can be achieved without amplifying misrepresentation, discrimination, and power asymmetries.

We therefore need a new framework for data justice integrating data privacy, non-discrimination, and non-use of data technologies into the same framework as positive freedoms such as representation and access to data. This project will research the lived experience of data technologies in high- and low-income countries worldwide, seeking to understand people’s basic needs with regard to these technologies. We will also seek the perspectives of civil society organisations, technology companies, and policymakers.