Contextualizing Datafication in Peru: Insights from a Citizen Data Literacy Project
37 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2023
Date Written: August 14, 2022
The pilot data literacy project Son Mis Datos showed volunteers how to leverage Peru’s national data protection law to request access to personal data held by Peruvian companies, and then it showed them how to audit corporate data use based on the results. While this intervention had a positive impact on data literacy, by basing it on a universalist conception of datafication, our work inadvertently reproduced the dominant data paradigm we hoped to challenge. This paper offers a retrospective analysis of Son Mis Datos, and explores the gap between van Dijck’s widely cited theory of datafication, and the reality of our participants’ experiences with datafication and digital transformation on the ground in Peru. On this basis, we suggest an alternative definition of datafication more appropriate to critical scholarship as the transformation of social relations around the uptake of personal data in the coordination of transactions, and propose an alternative approach to data literacy interventions that begins with the experiences of data subjects.
Keywords: datafication; data power; dataism; data literacy; citizen data audits
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