Seminar #11. ‘Researching datafied living through mobile tracking: methodological challenges and ethical opportunities‘.

WhenThursday 25 November, 2021, 12:30–14:00 CET (Central European Time) on zoom (
PresentersStine Lomborg (Associate Professor | University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
DiscussantAnne Kaun (Professor | Södertörn University, Sweden)
AbstractOver the last decade, self-tracking via apps or wearable devices has become an emblematic case of a general datafication of everyday life (Dow Schüll, 2016). In the Datafied Living project, we study people’s uses of digital self-tracking services and other forms of person-based tracking across personal, work and institutional domains in the Danish welfare state to assess the societal implications of datafication. A key challenge in this respect concerns how to empirically study the infrastructures of tracking and datafication that underpin our daily living. In this talk, I offer methodological ideas and ethical reflections regarding the use of mobile tracking and data to illuminate both infrastructures and experiences of datafication. 
QuestionsSome of the epistemological, methodological and ethical questions that arise in this regard: How can mobile tracking data help us illuminate aspects of datafication otherwise unaccounted for? How can mobile tracking and data from different devices and operating systems be meaningfully compared? How can we harness the potential of participatory approaches to enhance empirical research datafication research in ethically caring ways? 
Recommended textsFlensburg S, Lomborg S. “Datafication research: Mapping the field for a future agenda,” New Media & Society, September (2021). doi:10.1177/14614448211046616

Alexander Halavais (2019) Overcoming terms of service: a proposal for ethical distributed research,” Information, Communication & Society 22, no. 11 (2019): 1567-1581, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2019.1627386