The word ‘data’ has entered everyday conversation, but do we really understand what it means? How can we begin to grasp the scope and scale of our new data-rich world, and can we truly comprehend what is at stake. In Data Lives: How Data Are Made and Shape Our World (Policy Press, 2021), renowned social scientist Rob Kitchin explores the intricacies of data creation and charts how data-driven technologies have become essential to how society, government and the economy work. Creatively blending scholarly analysis, biography and fiction, he demonstrates how data are shaped by social and political forces, and the extent to which they influence our daily lives. He reveals our data world to be one of potential danger, but also of hope.
Noopur Raval is a postdoctoral researcher working at the intersection of Information Studies, STS, Media Studies and Anthropology.