A phenomenology of risks and trust in datafied media

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v28i10.13149

Keywords:

trust, risk, Datafication, media, phenomenology, Data Privacy, data literacy

Abstract

As data collection and analysis have become essential to digital media, citizens are left with the task of evaluating the risks associated with their consumption. Drawing on Schütz and Giddens, this paper develops a phenomenological framework to explain how citizens assess risks regarding the datafication of their media experiences and give their trust to datafied media in the context of everyday life. We identify a continuum of four zones of relevance (from control, concern, distance to irrelevance) in which risks are moved around, documenting three main responses by which citizens assess risks of datafied media. The findings show that while citizens are encouraged to make a variety of risks relevant, they go through a process of ‘distanciation’ when they do not have the agency to control and mitigate these risks. We discuss these findings in relation to the development of data literacy and regulation.

Author Biographies

David Mathieu, Roskilde University

David Mathieu is associate professor at the Department of Communication & Arts at Roskilde University, Denmark. His current work focuses on media audience, reception research and research methodologies, with an emphasis on the changing nature of audience practices in the age of social media, digitalization of communication and datafication of society.

Sander Andreas Schwartz, Roskilde University

Sander Andreas Schwartz is associate professor at the Department of Communication & Arts at Roskilde University, Denmark. His research focuses on social media and political communication and looks into wider issues related to the role of Internet in society, such as the role of algorithms, datafication and privacy in relation to everyday media use.

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Published

2023-10-18

How to Cite

Mathieu, D., & Schwartz, S. A. (2023). A phenomenology of risks and trust in datafied media. First Monday, 28(10). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v28i10.13149