Living with data: knowledge, experiences and perceptions of data practices

The collection and use of digital data is changing people’s lives, positively and negatively. Concerns about data misuse has led to appeals for increased data governance from both government and independent organisations such as the Ada Lovelace Institute.

Understanding public views and how data affects people is at the heart of these initiatives, however, knowledge about such matters remains limited. Existing surveys and polls focus on single issues and produce only snapshots of attitudes or perceptions. In short, understanding lacks a robust evidence base.

The Living with Data project aims to fill this gap through mixed methods research, mapping ‘data journeys’ through public bodies, a large-scale survey, focus groups, and interviews. Researchers will look at everyday, public sector data practices related to healthcare, accessing public services, and media use.

By conducting a methodologically rigorous inquiry, this project aims to impact on policy to ensure that data works ‘for people and society’ and is ultimately ‘a force for good’.