[Air-L] Reminder: CfA - Making sense of the value of personal data (DL May 31st, workshop Aug 31st)

Tuukka Lehtiniemi tuukka.lehtiniemi at hiit.fi
Wed May 25 23:55:24 PDT 2016

Dear AoIR,

A reminder of this abstract call for a workshop we’re organising at the MyData 2016 conference.


Tuukka Lehtiniemi
Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT
tuukka.lehtiniemi at hiit.fi


Call for abstracts: Making sense of the value of personal data

MyData 2016 is an international conference on human-centric data management that takes place in Helsinki on 31.8.-2.9.2016. The event will bring together participants from businesses, the research community, civil society, government and local communities. One track in the conference is an academic workshop on “Making sense of the value of personal data” on August 31st. The deadline for abstracts is May 31st. For more information, see below and visit http://mydata2016.org/call-for-abstracts/


In the workshop we aim to unpack and clarify the “ways to unleash the value of personal data,” both the unleashing and the value, from the point of view of people. What does it mean for personal data to be valuable to people? What is the value of disclosing data, choosing to keep it secret, or the ability to harness it for individual, social or societal purposes? In particular, how to understand and assess this value?

Personal data is clearly valuable to firms, who are able to aggregate data over several individuals and contexts. Personal data does bring valuable benefits to people themselves too. Valuable outcomes to people might include personalized or targeted services, and the possibility to generate and employ personal data for self-reflection. At the same time, the increasing necessity to submit to ubiquitous data extraction processes brings along subjective privacy harms. Disclosing data can also lead to tangible, but as of yet unforeseeable, negative consequences at some point in the future. The social nature of personal data makes this also a social question: data about me, and the consequences of sharing it or keeping it secret, may concern also others or the society at large.

Online services are often accessible only after agreeing to data collection and use policies, and firms have framed this as a value exchange of personal data to services. In cases, the users of services may see themselves as the rightful beneficiary of more of the value generated via their data. The current data collection and use practices expect people to be able to make an informed analysis of the benefits and costs of disclosing their data, a practice that is riddled with conceptual and practical difficulties. The consequences of disclosing data are in many cases not transparent or understandable, and the downstream markets of personal data make this even more problematic. People are not intrinsically capable of valuing abstract things – perhaps something to aid people in valuing personal data would be needed? Discussion of personal data is often framed in abstract terms like privacy – perhaps we are also lacking the terminology and concepts to approach the issue?


Your contribution in the workshop could concern the following, or related, questions:

- Is the value of personal data a relevant concept or a useful framework? What new framings or concepts could we employ to better make sense of the uses of personal data?
- How can the consequences of personal data collection and use to our everyday lives be made transparent or understandable?
- What tools could help people in assessing the value of data? What socio-technical solutions could be developed and employed?
- What rights do people have over their personal data? How could the politics of data enhance or endanger individual freedoms?
- What alternatives to the current notice & choice paradigm can be developed? What are the problems these alternatives aim to solve and how?
- How to approach the complexities of personal data vs. aggregated data, and personal data vs. social consequences?
- How to make personal data value exchanges understandable to people who participate in these exchanges?


Important dates: Workshop on August 31st, abstract DL May 31st
Other details: see http://mydata2016.org/call-for-abstracts/
Contact the organisers: mydata-academic at hiit.fi 

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