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Conditional trust: Citizens’ council on data-driven media personalisation and public expectations of transparency and accountability

Wong, Yen Nee, Jones, Rhia, Das, Ranjana, Jackson, Philip (2023) Conditional trust: Citizens’ council on data-driven media personalisation and public expectations of transparency and accountability. Big Data & Society, 10 (2). ISSN 2053-9517. (doi:10.1177/20539517231184892) (KAR id:102548)


This article presents findings from a rigorous, three-wave series of qualitative research into public expectations of data-driven media technologies, conducted in England, United Kingdom. Through a range of carefully chosen scenarios and deliberations around the risks and benefits afforded by data-driven media personalisation technologies and algorithms, we paid close attention to citizens’ voices as our multidisciplinary team sought to engage the public on what ‘good’ might look like in the context of media personalisation. We paid particular attention to risks and opportunities, examining practical use-cases and scenarios, and our three-wave councils culminated in citizens producing recommendations for practice and policy. In this article, we focus particularly on citizens’ ethical assessment, critique and improvements proposed on media personalisation methods in relation to benefits, fairness, safety, transparency and accountability. Our findings demonstrate that public expectations and trust in data-driven technologies are, fundamentally, conditional, with significant emphasis placed on transparency, inclusiveness and accessibility. Our findings also point to the context dependency of public expectations, which appears more pertinent to citizens, in hard political as opposed to entertainment spaces. Our conclusions are significant for global data-driven media personalisation environments – in terms of embedding citizens’ focus on transparency and accountability, but equally, also, we argue that strengthening research methodology, innovatively and rigorously to build in citizen voices at the very inception and core of design – must become a priority in technology development.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/20539517231184892
Uncontrolled keywords: media personalisation, citizens' council, accountability, transparency, algorithms, AI, conditional
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications > HE8689 Broadcasting. Radio and Television.
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Yen Nee Wong
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2023 12:58 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2023 14:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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