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I am a PhD candidate at the Data Justice Lab at Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Culture. My research is located in the field of Critical Data Studies and I examine ways to educate citizens about the way their data is used online and data systems influence our lives and our societies. I research this education about datafication under the term Critical Big Data Literacy.

I am also a Research Fellow at the Helmut-Schmidt-University, Hamburg, Germany. Prior to my PhD, I undertook a Research Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies in Bochum, Germany from January to June 2019. Before this, I completed the B.A. Media Studies at Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany, and the M.A. Digital Media and Society at Cardiff University. I have also worked as a research assistant in various projects, for example Data Justice Lab's "Data Scores as Governance".


Research interests

My research is located in the field of Critical Data Studies and examines ways to promote internet users' Critical Big Data Literacy: In order to navigate life in datafied societies and be able to fulfill their roles as active citizens and make informed decisions, internet users need to be aware of and able to critically reflect upon big data collection practices, data analytics systems and the possible risks and implications that come with these practices, as well as being capable of implementing this knowledge for a more responsible internet usage.

Academic Publications
Sander, I. (2020). "What is critical big data literacy and how can it be implemented?Internet Policy Review, 9(2). doi: 10.14763/2020.2.1479
Sander, I. (2020). “Critical big data literacy tools—Engaging citizens and promoting empowered internet usage,” Data & Policy. Cambridge University Press, 2(5). doi: 10.1017/dap.2020.5.
Hartong, Sigrid; Allert, Heidrun; Amos, Karin; Bleckmann, Paula; Czarnojan, Izabela; Förschler, Annina; Jornitz, Sieglinde; Reinhard, Manuel & Sander, Ina (2021). „Unblack the Box. Anregungen für eine (selbst)bewusste Auseinandersetzung mit digitaler Bildung“. In: Lankau, Ralf (Hrsg.) Autonom und mündig am Touchscreen. Für eine konstruktive Medienarbeit in der Schule. Beltz Verlag: Weinheim/Basel: 201-212.
Dander, V., Hug, T., Sander, I., & Shanks, R. (2021). "Digital Capitalism, Datafication, and Media Education: Critical Perspectives"., 17(2).

Guides for Data Literacy Practitioners
Sander, I. (2019). "Critically Commented Guide to Data Literacy Tools"
Brand, J. & Sander, I. (2020). "Critical data literacy tools for advancing data justice: A guidebook". Data Justice Lab.
Sander, I. (2020). Warum unsere Daten wertvoll sind. Website in cooperation with the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung NRW, Germany.
Sander, I. (2021). "(How much) is education being surveilled"; "To what extent is artificial intelligence involved?" & "Where does the data go?". In: Unblack the Box-Initiative (ed.). The Alternative Checklist for Educational Institutions.
Sander, I. 2021. Critical Big Data Literacy (Medienbildung). Glossar Digitale Souveränität.

Conference Presentations, Workshops & Research Network
You can find an up-to-date list of my conference presentations here. I am also the co-founder of the Critical Big Data and Algorithmic Literacy Network (CBDALN), a network for critical data literacy scholars and practitioners. Among others, the CBDAL-network has created a database for critical data literacy resources, that provides a freely available, up-to-date collection of educational resources about datafication (supported through funding from the Center for Advanced Internet Studies and the Grimme Forschungskolleg).

Research Interests:
Critical Data Studies
Critical Big Data Literacy
Media, Digital and Data Literacy
Datafied Citizenship
Civic education in datafied societies


Sander, Ina (2021). „Individuum, Gesellschaft und Staat im Kontext von Erziehung, Bildung, Sozialisation: Wie Big Data & Datafizierung unsere Gesellschaft verändern.“ Seminar. Winter trimester 2021 (January-March). Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg, Germany.
Sander, Ina (2021). “Critical Data Literacy. Education about Datafication”. Guest Lecture. School of Journalism, Media and Culture. Cardiff University. Online. 17.05.2021.
Sander, Ina; Allert, Heidrun; Bleckmann, Paula; Förschler, Annina & Hartong, Sigrid (2021). "Unblack the Box – Ansätze für einen (selbst)bewussten Umgang mit digitalen Datentechnologien in der Schule". Seminar. University Regensburg, Online, 11.-13.06.2021.


Critical Big Data Literacy – Theory, Research and Transfer

In recent years, the influence of big data – the large-scale collection and analysis of personal data with related scoring and prediction mechanisms – has been increasing steadily. However, these data systems come with inherent risks, such as endangering individual privacy, intensifying surveillance, the increasing quantification of our lives and a reinforcement of existing discriminations. While internet users may know about data collection online, they lack an understanding and critical reflection of the potential consequences of these big data practices.

In my research, I aim to address this lack of knowledge through “Critical Big Data Literacy”. Building on my prior work in the field, my PhD project examines ways to educate internet users about big data and the increasing datafication of our lives and societies. I plan to develop an extended conceptualisation of the literacy that citizens need to navigate in datafied societies; learn more about online tools that foster such literacy and the creators behind them; and, finally, conduct a transfer of academic knowledge into practice in collaboration with the NGO Privacy International.

Funding source