Lay perspectives on big data: Insights from citizen conferences in Germany

  • René König

Abstract

As big data shapes more and more aspects of our lives, a wide-spread concern is that the affected people’s interests are not sufficiently taken into account. The field of participatory technology assessment (pTA) has attempted to make such processes more democratic by involving laypeople as an additional voice to the often rather expert-driven development. This text presents the lessons learned from such an endeavor, namely three citizen conferences on big data held in Germany. The empirical results are presented and critically contextualized in the larger discourse on pTA and big data. Therefore, the article sheds light on lay perspectives on big data while also providing insights into the strengths and weaknesses of participatory methods such as citizen conferences.

Author Biography

René König
Sociologist researching at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Published
2019-04-01
How to Cite
König, R. (2019). Lay perspectives on big data: Insights from citizen conferences in Germany. First Monday, 24(4). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v24i4.9832