Data scores as governance: Investigating uses of citizen scoring
Data scores that combine data from a variety of both online and offline activities are becoming a way to categorize citizens, allocating services, and predicting future behaviour. This project provides a comprehensive interrogation of uses of data-driven citizen scoring in local authorities and government.
The primary objective of this project is to investigate the uses of data scores as a form of governance in order to advance specific expertise as well as broader public knowledge about this.
Little is known about how central government and local authorities in the UK are using data scores in their decision-making practices.
We will communicate research findings through an interactive map, publications, workshops and training session. In doing so, we will advance expertise among lawyers, social workers, civil society groups, journalists, and others about how government practices are changing, where and how further investigations might be necessary, and some of the implications of these changing government practices.
Our activities will include:
- mapping the use of data scores based on desk-based research (media reports, industry material, FOI requests)
- a one-day workshop with invited experts, practitioners and stakeholders. Stakeholders in this case are public sector employees, civil society groups working with data (eg Open Rights Group) and/or working with issues pertaining to provision of relevant services (eg Citizens Advice Bureau, student and teachers unions, Migrants' rights network).
- interviews with practitioners (from government departments and local authorities) within specific governance contexts (to be determined from the initial mapping exercise and opening workshop)
- interviews with experts (data analysts, policy experts, and civil society groups).
- journalistic training for reporting on data processes through an organized training session with journalism scholars and practice-based lecturers in Cardiff’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture.
Our outputs will include:
- a publicly accessible interactive map with a systematic review of the uses of data scores in UK (and European) government sectors
- a research report on the project findings publicly available through the Data Justice Lab website and circulated to practitioners, civil society groups and other stakeholders
- policy recommendations addressing the implications of data scores as governance, focusing on issues relating to privacy, discrimination and universal access
- academic publications in the form of peer-reviewed open access journal articles as well as publications for other interested audiences via sites such as The Conversation and Opendemocracy.
The project team