Skip to main content

The Data Justice Lab

The Data Justice Lab brings together interests in digital media, social justice, and data power and builds on existing research and activity in these areas.

The Data Justice Lab brings together interests in digital media, social justice, and data power and builds on existing research and activity in these areas.

The term ‘data justice’ is intended to advance a research agenda that examines the intricate relationship between datafication and social justice by foregrounding and highlighting the politics and impacts of data-driven processes and big data.

The collection and processing of massive amounts of data is becoming an increasingly contentious issue. Our financial transactions, communications, movements, relationships, and interactions with government all increasingly generate data that are used to profile and sort groups and individuals.

With the ‘platformisation’ of digital media alongside governmental and corporate uses of citizen data, developments in the Internet of Things, smart homes and smart cities, the systematic collection and analysis of massive data sets across our social life is being normalised and entrenched – what has been described as the ‘datafication’ of society.

These processes can affect both individuals as well as entire communities that may be denied services and access to opportunities, or wrongfully targeted and exploited. In short, they impact on our ability to participate in society.

With the emergence of this data paradigm comes a new set of power dynamics requiring investigation and critique. Whilst promises of value-neutral information and possibilities for prediction are said to advance better responses to a range of social problems, they may also have serious implications for social inclusion, autonomy, basic freedoms, and established notions of ethics, trust, responsibility and accountability.


In the Data Justice Lab we carry out research that engages with data analytics from a social justice perspective.

his includes research that examines the implications of institutional and organizational uses of data as well as research that provides critical responses to potential data harms and misuses.

Areas of research may include (but are not limited to):

  • data discrimination
  • data colonialism
  • digital labour
  • prediction and Preemption
  • data ethics
  • algorithmic governance
  • social justice-informed design
  • uses of data by social justice groups
  • data-related activism and advocacy.


Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society: UK State-Media-Citizen Relations after the Snowden Leaks (Cardiff University)

Managing Threats: Uses of Social Media for Policing Domestic Extremism and Disorder in the UK (Cardiff University)

Social Media and Big Data (Infoscape Research Lab)

Meet the team

Academic staff


Surveillance and Security in the Age of Algorithmic Communication, 26 July 2016, IAMCR pre-conference, Leicester, UK

Big Data – Critiques and Alternatives, 9 June 2016, ICA pre-conference, Fukuoka, Japan

Surveillance and Citizenship, 18-19 June 2015, Cardiff University

Coding for Social Change, 30 January 2015, Cardiff University

Next steps


Research that matters

Our research makes a difference to people’s lives as we work across disciplines to tackle major challenges facing society, the economy and our environment.


Postgraduate research

Our research degrees give the opportunity to investigate a specific topic in depth among field-leading researchers.


Our research impact

Our research case studies highlight some of the areas where we deliver positive research impact.