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Democratic governance in an age of datafication: Lessons from mapping government discourses and practices

Redden, Joanna ORCID: 2018. Democratic governance in an age of datafication: Lessons from mapping government discourses and practices. Big Data and Society 5 (2) , pp. 1-13. 10.1177/2053951718809145

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There is an abundance of enthusiasm and optimism about how governments at all levels can make use of big data, algorithms and artificial intelligence. There is also growing concern about the risks that come with these new systems. This article makes the case for greater government transparency and accountability about uses of big data through a Government of Canada qualitative research case study. Adapting a method from critical cartographers, I employ counter-mapping to map government big data practices and internal discussions of risk and challenge. I do so by drawing on interviews and freedom of information requests. The analysis reveals that there are more concerns and risks than often publicly discussed and that there are significant areas of silence that need greater attention. The article underlines the need for our democratic systems to respond to our new datafied contexts by ensuring that our institutions make changes to better protect citizen rights, uphold democratic principles and ensure means for citizen intervention

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 2053-9517
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 October 2018
Date of Acceptance: 1 October 2018
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 10:22

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