Data Action: Using Data for Public Good
How to use data as a tool for empowerment rather than oppression.
Big data can be used for good, from tracking disease to exposing human rights violations, and for bad, implementing surveillance and control. Data inevitably represents the ideologies of those who control its use; data analytics and algorithms too often exclude women, the poor, and ethnic groups. In Data Action, Sarah Williams provides a guide for working with data in more ethical and responsible ways. Williams outlines a method that emphasizes collaboration among data scientists, policy experts, data designers, and the public. The approach generates policy debates, influences civic decisions, and informs design to help ensure that the voices of people represented in the data are neither marginalized nor left unheard.
About the Author
Sarah Williams is Associate Professor of Technology and Urban Planning at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, where she is also Director of the Civic Data Design Lab. Trained in geography, landscape architecture, and urban planning, she was named one of the Top 25 Leading Thinkers in Urban Planning and Technology by Planetizen and 2012 Game Changer by Metropolis Magazine. Her designs and visualizations have been widely exhibited.