PhD Studentship Available: Consumer Data Donation

A Dlight-ideaoctoral Studentship is available at the School of Management, University of St Andrews, April 2017 start 

CRISP is the UK partner of the SSHRC funded Big Data Surveillance project, led by Queens University in Canada. We currently have funding available for a PhD studentship to complete research that will contribute to the project’s findings. The studentships are funded by SSHRC and by The School of Management at the University of St Andrews.

The Big Data Surveillance project aims to understand the impact of big data analytics in everyday life and this studentship concerns the phenomenon of ‘data donation’ in big data.  ‘Consumer data donation’ involves consumers parting voluntarily, even altruistically, with their consumption data in return for customized products and services. Such initiatives exist in energy, transport and healthcare sectors and the concept is growing in importance.  Data donation adds to the multiple data streams now analysed by marketers under the rubric of ‘big data’, but raises ethical problems around consent, purpose specification, data limitation as well as questions of surveilled subjectivity. The PhD will address the uptake of data donation in different commercial contexts and applicants may propose any project around this theme.

‌The ‌successful applicant will have the opportunity to work with a number of scholars and students associated with the Big Data Surveillance project at Queen’s University, the University of Victoria, the University of Alberta, the University of Ottawa and University of Toronto, as well as those at the University of St Andrews School of Management and the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy. The studentship will be supervised by Professor Kirstie Ball.

For more information about the studentships and how to apply, please see this page, or contact Kirstie directly:  The deadline for applications is 30th January 2017

Call for Papers: Religions Consuming Surveillance Workshop, March 2017 in Edinburgh

Faith communities use surveillance technologies to protect their buildings and worshipperslight-net. Religious leaders sometimes use their equivalent of customer data management software to track attendance numbers or to better understand the profile of their community. Individual religious believers engage in surveillance of one another through social networking sites.

Surveillance technologies are not neutral devices but shape their users. How then are religious practices being shaped by not only surveillance directed towards religious groups but, more importantly for this particular workshop, by the use or consumption of surveillance? What do faith communities need to learn from surveillance studies? What might the field of surveillance studies learn from the particular faith-based concerns of religious believers who are users of surveillance technologies?

In this second in a series of three workshops, the main presenters will include Dr Tim Hutchings (University of Stockholm), Dr Jason Pridmore and  Dr Daniel Trottier (Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, Rotterdam), Rabbi Ute Steyer (Stockholm), Very Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth (Provost of St Mary’s Scottish Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow, Scotland) Dr Susanne Wigorts Yngvesson (Stockholm School of Theology); and Dr Eric Stoddart (University of St Andrews).

Established scholars, doctoral students and religious practitioners are welcome to propose papers. Academics from the fields of, for example, sociology, philosophy of religion, theology, religious studies, and cultural studies are particularly welcome. It is anticipated that faith practitioners from a range of traditions will be represented.

The workshop will run from 2pm on Monday 20 March – 1pm on Wednesday 22 March 2017. It will be held at a venue in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Places are limited for this subsidised event. There is no registration fee but participants must apply for a place. Refreshments and lunch will be provided but accommodation and dinner is arranged by participants at their own expense. Some funds are available to support doctoral students and early career researchers with travel costs.

There will be a mix of plenary presentations and shorter papers. Proposals for papers (20 mins duration) are due by 15th December 2016. Please send your abstract and title (no more than 500 words) along with contact details and brief biographical information to Dr Eric Stoddart Preliminary enquiries are welcome at this address.

Applications for financial assistance with travel from doctoral students and early career researchers should be made in writing at the same time.

Further information about the Surveillance & Religion Network: