Search results

1 – 10 of 213
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 8 May 2019

Claire Seungeun Lee

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to explore how China uses a social credit system as part of its “data-driven authoritarianism” policy; and second, to…

Downloads
3292

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to explore how China uses a social credit system as part of its “data-driven authoritarianism” policy; and second, to investigate how datafication, which is a method to legitimize data collection, and dataveillance, which is continuous surveillance through the use of data, offer the Chinese state a legitimate method of monitoring, surveilling and controlling citizens, businesses and society. Taken together, China’s social credit system is analyzed as an integrated tool for datafication, dataveillance and data-driven authoritarianism.

Design/methodology/approach

This study combines the personal narratives of 22 Chinese citizens with policy analyses, online discussions and media reports. The stories were collected using a scenario-based story completion method to understand the participants’ perceptions of the recently introduced social credit system in China.

Findings

China’s new social credit system, which turns both online and offline behaviors into a credit score through smartphone apps, creates a “new normal” way of life for Chinese citizens. This data-driven authoritarianism uses data and technology to enhance citizen surveillance. Interactions between individuals, technologies and information emerge from understanding the system as one that provides social goods, using technologies, and raising concerns of privacy, security and collectivity. An integrated critical perspective that incorporates the concepts of datafication and dataveillance enhances a general understanding of how data-driven authoritarianism develops through the social credit system.

Originality/value

This study builds upon an ongoing debate and an emerging body of literature on datafication, dataveillance and digital sociology while filling empirical gaps in the study of the global South. The Chinese social credit system has growing recognition and importance as both a governing tool and a part of everyday datafication and dataveillance processes. Thus, these phenomena necessitate discussion of its consequences for, and applications by, the Chinese state and businesses, as well as affected individuals’ efforts to adapt to the system.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 19 February 2021

Claire Seungeun Lee

The first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was documented in China, and the virus was soon to be introduced to its neighboring country – South Korea. South…

Downloads
387

Abstract

Purpose

The first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was documented in China, and the virus was soon to be introduced to its neighboring country – South Korea. South Korea, one of the earliest countries to initiate a national pandemic response to COVID-19 with fairly substantial measures at the individual, societal and governmental level, is an interesting example of a rapid response by the Global South. The current study examines contact tracing mobile applications (hereafter, contact tracing apps) for those who were subject to self-quarantine through the lenses of dataveillance and datafication. This paper analyzes online/digital data from those who were mandatorily self-quarantined by the Korean government largely due to returning from overseas travel.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses an Internet ethnography approach to collect and analyze data. To extract data for this study, self-quarantined Korean individuals' blog entries were collected and verified with a combination of crawling and manual checking. Content analysis was performed with the codes and themes that emerged. In the COVID-19 pandemic era, this method is particularly useful to gain access to those who are affected by the situation. This approach advances the author’s understandings of COVID-19 contact tracing mobile apps and the experiences of self-quarantined people who use them.

Findings

The paper shows Korean citizens' understandings and views of using the COVID-19 self-tracing application in South Korea through examining their experiences. The research argues that the application functions as a datafication tool that collects the self-quarantined people's information and performs dataveillance on the self-quarantined people. This research further offers insights for various agreements/disagreements at different actors (i.e. the self-quarantined, their families, contact tracers/government officials) in the process of contact tracing for COVID-19.

Originality/value

This study also provides insights into the implications of information and technology as they affect datafication and dataveillance conducted on the public. This study investigates an ongoing debate of COVID-19's contact tracing method concerning privacy and builds upon an emerging body of literature on datafication, dataveillance, social control and digital sociology.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/OIR-08-2020-0377

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Derina Holtzhausen

The purpose of this paper is to consider the threats and potential of Big Data for strategic communication. It explains the concepts of datafication and Big Data and…

Downloads
6998

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the threats and potential of Big Data for strategic communication. It explains the concepts of datafication and Big Data and establishes the social and cultural context of Big Data from the way those constructing algorithms superimpose their value systems and cultural references onto the data. It links Big Data and strategic communication through the segmentation devices and strategies both use and propose discourse analysis as a valid method for the critique of Big Data. The importance of strategic communication for the public sphere suggests that Big Data can pose a serious threat to public discourse.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual and theoretical paper that first explains and interprets various new terms and concepts and then uses established theoretical approaches to analyze these phenomena.

Findings

The use of Big Data for the micro-segmentation of audiences establishes its relationship with strategic communication. Big Data analyses and algorithms are not neutral. Treating algorithms as language and communication allow them to be subjected to discourse analysis to expose underlying power relations for resistance strategies to emerge. Strategic communicators should guard the public sphere and take an activist stance against the potential harm of Big Data. That requires a seat at the institutional technology table and speaking out against discriminatory practices. However, Big Data can also greatly benefit society and improve discourse in the public sphere.

Research limitations/implications

There is not yet empirical data available on the impact of datafication on communication practice, which might be a problem well into the future. It also might be hard to do empirical research on its impact on practice and the public sphere. The heuristic value of this piece is that it laid down the theoretical foundations of the phenomena to be studied, which can in future be used for ethnographic research or qualitative studies. It might eventually be possible to follow personalized messages generated through datafication to study if they actually lead to behavior change in specific audience members.

Practical/implications

As guardians of the public sphere strategic communication practitioners have to educate themselves on the realities of Big Data and should consciously acquire a seat at the institutional technology table. Practitioners will need to be involved in decisions on how algorithms are formulated and who they target. This will require them to serve as activists to ensure social justice. They also will need to contribute to organizational transparency by making organizational information widely available and accessible through media bought, owned, and earned. Strategic communicators need to create a binary partnership with journalists of all kinds to secure the public sphere.

Social/implications

The paper exposes the role of algorithms in the construction of data and the extent to which algorithms are products of people who impose their own values and belief systems on them. Algorithms and the data they generate are subjective and value-laden. The concept of algorithms as language and communication and the use of Big Data for the segmentation of society for purposes of communication establish the connection between Big Data and strategic communication. The paper also exposes the potential for harm in the use of Big Data, as well as its potential for improving society and bringing about social justice.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is that it introduces the concept of datafication to communication studies and proposes theoretical foundations for the study of Big Data in the context of strategic communications. It provides a theoretical and social foundation for the inclusion of the public sphere in a definition of strategic communication and emphasizes strategic communicators’ commitment to the public sphere as more important than ever before. It highlights how communication practice and society can impact each other positively and negatively and that Big Data should not be the future of strategic communication but only a part of it.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 3 October 2019

Sine Nørholm Just and Rasmus Kjærgaard Rasmussen

This chapter discusses the ways in which digitalization and datafication challenge public relations (PR), arguing that technological developments create a need to…

Abstract

This chapter discusses the ways in which digitalization and datafication challenge public relations (PR), arguing that technological developments create a need to re-conceptualize PR so as to account for data as affordance and actor. In so doing the chapter is conceptual; it discusses existing communicative theories in relation to current changes in the media landscape and its technological underpinnings. Focusing on the areas of crisis communication and issues management, we argue that datafication provides new ways of dealing with issues and, in turn, presents new issues for PR professionals. Thus, the chapter presents a novel conceptualization of PR in which technological affordances and agencies go hand in hand with human efforts in the configuration of communicative assemblages. More specifically, we argue that viewing data solely as an affordance merely provides new tools for solving existing issues. When the independent agency of data is recognized and employed, more effective means of solving such issues appear, but data itself also becomes an issue. The dilemma is best illustrated by the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the broader discussions about electoral manipulation and other covert uses of data it incurred. In this regard, balancing the dual demands of efficacy and ethics is as pressing a concern for PR as ever. The conceptualization of PR in terms of communicative assemblages, we suggest, may not only explain processes of issues formation better, but also provide a starting point for handling such processes ethically and effectively.

Details

Big Ideas in Public Relations Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-508-0

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 5 May 2020

Christoph F. Breidbach and Paul Maglio

The purpose of this study is to identify, analyze and explain the ethical implications that can result from the datafication of service.

Downloads
1346

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify, analyze and explain the ethical implications that can result from the datafication of service.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a midrange theorizing approach to integrate currently disconnected perspectives on technology-enabled service, data-driven business models, data ethics and business ethics to introduce a novel analytical framework centered on data-driven business models as the general metatheoretical unit of analysis. The authors then contextualize the framework using data-intensive insurance services.

Findings

The resulting midrange theory offers new insights into how using machine learning, AI and big data sets can lead to unethical implications. Centered around 13 ethical challenges, this work outlines how data-driven business models redefine the value network, alter the roles of individual actors as cocreators of value, lead to the emergence of new data-driven value propositions, as well as novel revenue and cost models.

Practical implications

Future research based on the framework can help guide practitioners to implement and use advanced analytics more effectively and ethically.

Originality/value

At a time when future technological developments related to AI, machine learning or other forms of advanced data analytics are unpredictable, this study instigates a critical and timely discourse within the service research community about the ethical implications that can arise from the datafication of service by introducing much-needed theory and terminology.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 March 1994

John L. Hankins

The past year has seen increased effort across the country to expandnetworking services in rural areas. This note describes the “ruraldatafication” activities that CICNet…

Downloads
160

Abstract

The past year has seen increased effort across the country to expand networking services in rural areas. This note describes the “rural datafication” activities that CICNet, a regional network in the midwest, is currently pursuing.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 3 November 2014

Christine Lohmeier

This chapter considers the challenges and potentials of using so called big data in communication research. It asks what lessons big data research can learn from digital…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter considers the challenges and potentials of using so called big data in communication research. It asks what lessons big data research can learn from digital ethnography, another method of gathering digital data.

Design/methodology/approach

The chapter first takes on the task of clearly defining big data in the context of communication and media studies. It then moves on to analyse and critique processes associated with the dealings of big data: datafication and dataism. The challenges of data-driven research are juxtaposed with qualitative perspectives on research regarding data gathering and context. These thoughts are further elaborated in the second part of the chapter where the lessons learned in digital ethnography are linked to challenges of big data research.

Findings

It is proposed that by including the materialities of contexts and transitions between material and mediated realms, we can ask more relevant research questions and gain more insights compared to a purely data-driven approach.

Practical implications

This chapter encourages researchers to reflect upon their relations to the object of study and the context in which data was produced through human/human–technical interaction.

Originality/value

This chapter contributes to debates about qualitative and quantitative research methods in communication and media studies. Moreover, it proposes that methods which are in the widest sense used in the never-ending digital field benefit from the mutual consideration of both qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Details

Big Data? Qualitative Approaches to Digital Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-050-6

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here

Abstract

Details

Malleable, Digital, and Posthuman
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-621-7

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 7 June 2019

Michiel de Lange

The current datafication of cities raises questions about what Lefebvre and many after him have called “the right to the city.” In this contribution, I investigate how the…

Abstract

The current datafication of cities raises questions about what Lefebvre and many after him have called “the right to the city.” In this contribution, I investigate how the use of data for civic purposes may strengthen the “right to the datafied city,” that is, the degree to which different people engage and participate in shaping urban life and culture, and experience a sense of ownership. The notion of the commons acts as the prism to see how data may serve to foster this participatory “smart citizenship” around collective issues. This contribution critically engages with recent attempts to theorize the city as a commons. Instead of seeing the city as a whole as a commons, it proposes a more fine-grained perspective of the “commons-as-interface.” The “commons-as-interface,” it is argued, productively connects urban data to the human-level political agency implied by “the right to the city” through processes of translation and collectivization. The term is applied to three short case studies, to analyze how these processes engender a “right to the datafied city.” The contribution ends by considering the connections between two seemingly opposed discourses about the role of data in the smart city – the cybernetic view versus a humanist view. It is suggested that the commons-as-interface allows for more detailed investigations of mediation processes between data, human actors, and urban issues.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 26 April 2018

Jan Michael Nolin

A multitude of transparency movements have been developed and grown strong in recent decades. Despite their growing influence, scholarly studies have focused on individual…

Abstract

Purpose

A multitude of transparency movements have been developed and grown strong in recent decades. Despite their growing influence, scholarly studies have focused on individual movements. The purpose of this paper is to make a pioneering contribution in defining transparency movements.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory approach has been used utilizing movement-specific professional and scholarly documents concerning 18 transparency movements.

Findings

Different traditions, ideologies of openness and aspects involving connections between movements have been identified as well as forms of organization.

Originality/value

This is the first attempt at identifying and defining transparency movements as a contemporary phenomenon.

1 – 10 of 213