PhD Researcher in Data Governance
Shaz is a social science researcher specializing in digital governance and smart urbanism, and a PhD Researcher on the Global Data Justice project. Her background spans international development studies, human geography, urban sustainability, and cognitive psychology. She is interested in how we can have a more inclusive global conversation around data governance in the context of economic growth. In particular, her research investigates the implications of data innovation in public sector governance of smart cities. What does it mean to move towards a digital society? Currently, she is thinking about the how uncertainty and adaptation are dealt with in experimental approaches to urban development, and how data-driven decision-making reshapes our relationship to the risk society.
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.