Archive by Author

Organization after Social Media

Open access book by Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter :”Organized networks are an alternative to the social media logic of weak links and their secretive economy of data mining. They put an end to freestyle friends, seeking forms of empowerment beyond the brief moment of joyful networking. This speculative manual calls for nothing less than social […]

We Need to Save Ignorance From AI

Christina Leuker and Wouter van den Bos in Nautilus:  “After the fall of the Berlin Wall, East German citizens were offered the chance to read the files kept on them by the Stasi, the much-feared Communist-era secret police service. To date, it is estimated that only 10 percent have taken the opportunity. In 2007, James […]

Toward Data Driven Philanthropy

We live in an increasingly quantified world, one where data is driving key decisions. Data is claimed to provide the new competitive advantage for business, while making policy more evidence based. Yet, paradoxically, even as our reliance on data increases and the call for agile, data-driven decision making becomes more pronounced, the philanthropic sector has […]

Essentials of the Right of Access to Public Information: An Introduction

Introduction by Blanke, Hermann-Josef and Perlingeiro, Ricardo in the book “The Right of Access to Public Information : An International Comparative Legal Survey”: “The first freedom of information law was enacted in Sweden back in 1766 as the “Freedom of the Press and the Right of Access to Public Records Act”. It sets an example […]

Personal Data v. Big Data: Challenges of Commodification of Personal Data

Maria Bottis and  George Bouchagiar in the Open Journal of Philosophy: “Any firm today may, at little or no cost, build its own infrastructure to process personal data for commercial, economic, political, technological or any other purposes. Society has, therefore, turned into a privacy-unfriendly environment. The processing of personal data is essential for multiple economically and socially useful […]

Mapping Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Migration With Mobile Phone Data

Martin Echenique and Luis Melgar at CityLab: “It is well known that the U.S. Census Bureau keeps track of state-to-state migration flows. But that’s not the case with Puerto Rico. Most of the publicly known numbers related to the post-Maria diaspora from the island to the continental U.S. were driven by estimates, and neither state nor federal institutions […]

Against the Dehumanisation of Decision-Making – Algorithmic Decisions at the Crossroads of Intellectual Property, Data Protection, and Freedom of Information

Paper by Guido Noto La Diega: “Nowadays algorithms can decide if one can get a loan, is allowed to cross a border, or must go to prison. Artificial intelligence techniques (natural language processing and machine learning in the first place) enable private and public decision-makers to analyse big data in order to build profiles, which are […]

Ghost Cities: Built but Never Inhabited

Civic Data Design Lab at UrbanNext: “Ghost Cities are vacant neighborhoods and sometimes whole cities that were built but were never inhabited. Their existence is a physical manifestation of Chinese overdevelopment in real estate and the dependence on housing as an investment strategy. Little data exists which establishes the location and extent of these Ghost […]

Can crowdsourcing scale fact-checking up, up, up? Probably not, and here’s why

Mevan Babakar at NiemanLab: “We foolishly thought that harnessing the crowd was going to require fewer human resources, when in fact it required, at least at the micro level, more.”….There’s no end to the need for fact-checking, but fact-checking teams are usually small and struggle to keep up with the demand. In recent months, organizations […]

When Technology Gets Ahead of Society

Tarun Khanna at Harvard Business Review: “Drones, originally developed for military purposes, weren’t approved for commercial use in the United States until 2013. When that happened, it was immediately clear that they could be hugely useful to a whole host of industries—and almost as quickly, it became clear that regulation would be a problem. The new […]