[CITASA] ICA Preconference CFP: Data & Discrimination

Seeta Peña Gangadharan seeta.gangadharan at gmail.com
Thu Jan 16 09:24:55 EST 2014

Hi all,

Of possible interest to this list...

    Data and Discrimination: Converting Critical Concerns into
    Productive Inquiry

A preconference at the 64th Annual Meeting of the International
Communication Association <http://www.icahdq.org/conf/index.asp>
Thursday, May 22, 2014, 9:00-4:30
Seattle, Washington, Sheraton Seattle Hotel
Organized by Seeta Peña Gangadharan
<http://newamerica.net/people/seeta_gangadharan>, Open Technology
Institute, New America Foundation

Call for Papers
| Submission
| Registration
| Schedule

Critics increasingly cite the pervasiveness of data collection by
corporate and government actors as evidence of a growing problem that
requires intervention and oversight. But what about the analysis of
these data or other processes like data storage, transmission, and
sharing? More importantly, in each of these contexts, what constitutes
harm and who or what is likely affected?

In this preconference, scholars will explore the nature and consequences
of discrimination that occurs when corporations and governments collect,
store, transmit, share, and analyze information about consumers and
citizens. Discrimination can be understood in technical terms, such as
parameters of an algorithm that identify patterns in a data set, in
political terms, such as when a lack of data collection on certain
populations leads to policy choices and the distribution of resources,
or social and economic terms, such as when analysis of consumers’
digital behavior leads to targeted marketing of particular products.

This convening will present new ways to identify and differentiate forms
of data-based discrimination and to convert critical concerns into
productive inquiry. We aim to discuss historical, methodological, moral,
and ethical issues that will inform a critical perspective on
computational, algorithmic, and aggregative processes governing public
and private decision making today.

      Call for Papers

We welcome scholarly contributions that address the following questions:

  * What is data-based discrimination? Who or what discriminates? Who is
    discriminated against? Why? Which stage—data collection, sharing,
    transmission, analysis—matters more to discriminatory process or
  * Under what conditions do data distort, pervert, or harm more than
    help? For example, what is the relationship of open data initiatives
    to data-based discrimination?
  * How do we conceptualize error or noise in the age of big data
    analysis? Is data obfuscation, for example, a liberatory process?
    What are predigital examples of data-driven discrimination?
  * What mechanisms, regulatory or otherwise, can solve problems related
    to data-based discrimination?
  * When does exclusion from data collection processes and their
    analysis equate with social, economic, and political exclusion?


We welcome extended abstracts of original works from scholars at all
stages of their careers and across multiple disciplines. We also welcome
submissions from practitioners. Please submit an extended abstract
(approximately 750 words) in the form of a pdf to
ica2014 at opentechinstitute.org <mailto:ica2014 at opentechinstitute.org>.


Register for this preconference online <http://www.icahdq.org/conf/>
beginning January 15, 2014, as part of your main ICA conference
registration, or as a stand-alone item. The cost per person is $50. A
limited number of fee scholarships for nationals based in a developing
country will be available. If interested, please put “Scholarship” in
the header of your extended abstract. Also, two spots are available for
“Rapporteurs,” which entails documenting the event in exchange for a fee
waiver. Please indicate “Rapporteur” in the header of your submission.
Preference for rapporteurs will be given to graduate students.


Deadline for proposals: January 31, 2014.
Confirmation of receipt: Week of February 3, 2014
Decision announced: February 21, 2014
Deadline for submission of completed papers: April 21, 2014
Preconference: May 22, 2014

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