Accepted Paper:

Digital citizenship in the scoring society  

Author:

Arne Hintz

Paper short abstract:

What are the implications of the 'scoring society' for activism and citizenship? How does the increasing use of scoring systems affect notions of digital citizenship that are based on active engagement with digital environments and the self-enactment of citizens through digital tools?

Paper long abstract:

The drive to turn vast amounts of human activity and behavior into data points that can be tracked and mined is transforming state-citizen relations and is becoming an integral part of governance. Data scores that combine data from a variety of both online and offline activities are emerging as a prime means of categorizing citizens, allocating services, and predicting future behavior. The social credit score being developed in China represents the most comprehensive attempt at data governance to date, but smaller scale forms of citizen scoring are already in place or being developed in other countries. These include financial credit scores, education and health scores, data scores used in the criminal justice system, and 'risk' scores of refugees and families.

What are the implications of the 'scoring society' for activism and citizenship? How does the increasing use of scoring systems affect notions of digital citizenship that are based on active engagement with digital environments and the self-enactment of citizens through digital tools? This paper will present preliminary results from the research project 'Data Scores as Governance' which maps and analyses the use of data scores across government departments in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Based on findings from extensive desk research and interviews with a variety of stakeholders, the paper will discuss public responses to data-driven citizen scoring and changes to citizenship in the context of data-based governance. It will present examples for scores and analyse the consequences for democracy as citizens' status and life opportunities are increasingly affected by scoring systems.

Panel E07
After data activism: reactions to civil society's engagement with data