Lecture by Alina Kontareva on The Role of Data in Digital Platforms: from Data Collection to Regulatory Debates

Join us this Thursday, October 20th, from 16:15-17:45 hrs, German time, to hear Alina Kontareva present her work on “The Role of Data in Digital Platforms: from Data Collection to Regulatory Debates”.

Digital platforms are data-driven, software-based firms that mediate transactions between groups of users. Platforms design sophisticated technological infrastructures to ensure data production and processing and pursue various strategies such as data extensions, partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions that facilitate further growth. Because of their pervasive power in transforming social and political life, Facebook, Google, Alibaba, Tencent, and other “information monopolies” have been the focus of critical social studies. Using academic literature and empirical qualitative research of platforms in Western and emerging economies, this presentation will elaborate on the role data plays in how platforms function, compete and expand, and demonstrate how different national institutional and regulatory settings create the context in which platforms generate data. 

Alina is a Ph.D. Candidate at TIK – Center for Technology, Innovation, and Culture at the University of Oslo. Her research interests revolve around digital platforms, strategy, internet policy, and digital technology and innovation. In the doctoral dissertation, Alina examined the uneven geographical distribution of digital platform firms and analyzed how platforms can emerge outside major economies (such as China and the U.S.) and successfully compete with global giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Recently, Alina joined the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society as a Postdoctoral Researcher. She will examine the evolution of platform corporate governance in capitalist societies at the INCA project (E.U. Horizon 2020).

Before focusing on platforms, Alina conducted STS-inspired research and was affiliated with the Center for Science and Technology Studies at the European University in St.Petersburg. She holds an M.A. in Fundamental and Applied Linguistics and wrote a thesis on how digital technologies transform scientific communication and “laboratory life.” As part of the “Russian Computer Scientist At Home and Abroad” project, Alina researched the Russian software industry, particularly the role of innovation narratives on regional development and perceptions of work and leisure time among Russian software specialists. Alina’s several projects explore digital media and emerging technologies. As a Fulbright fellow at UC Davis, Alina collaborated with ModLab on a project to code audio and visual data from short films made by users of “Play the Knave,” a 3D motion-sensing game based on Shakespeare pieces. Alina led the #Museum research project that analyzes how visitors perceive museum attendance, using 82,000 Instagram images and large-scale visualizations (http://www.hashtag-museum.tilda.ws/en). Alina’s recent co-edited book New Era, New Fieldwork: The Changing Landscape of Qualitative Research and New Technologies (in Russian), offers insights into methods and new epistemologies to study science, technology, and innovation.

Location: on campus (Universitätsstr. 104, 2nd floor, 44799 Bochum) and Zoom
Zoom Link: https://tinyurl.com/RUSTlab

You will find additional resources and information on this term’s guiding theme Data at work here on our website.