Tallinn University of Technology
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In our Lab we explore how the data and society are imbricated and what is the role of the human factor – as both an agent and agency – in the equation. 

The Lab hosts researchers who come from different fields – information systems, computational social science, public administration, and critical sociology, media and communication studies, philosophy of technology – who delve into these issues resorting to various methodological approaches.

EU Regional Development Fund - Estonia: Investing in Your Future

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Research

Hosted within the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance (RND) at Tallinn University of Technology, the Data Lab gathers and branches out towards a wide array of scholars. Their main focus is on the often-opaque interrelations between (big) data, technology, individuals and society at large, in order to understand and tackle the socio-cultural transformations, consequences and recoils of social datafication.

  • Governance through, by and with data: socio-political-technological implications connected with the adoption of datafied solutions, in the public and private sectors

  • Datafication of (digital) migration and mobility: social datafication, data practices, data inequalities, data deterritorialization. 

  • Data justice: ethical discussions, frameworks and paradigms surrounding data technologies

  • “Data colonialism” in context: forms of (new)colonialsm with and through data exploitation

  • Data epistemologies: data-related knowledge-building and methodologies, methods and techniques. 

The researchers who are part of Data Lab espouse both theoretical and practical/empirical approaches to these issue. Notably, theorizations over the ongoing developments of AI and datafied solutions and their related ethical, social, political and implications go hand in hand with the design and unfolding of empirical studies, which rely a varied set of methodologies.

The Lab is open to collaborations with scholars, professionals, and stakeholders keen to explore these and other related themes, from any relevant perspective and through either consolidated or innovative research methods. In this respect, the Estonian context – highly digitalized and prone to innovation as it is – constitutes the ideal environment for establishing synergies within and beyond academia, both nationally and internationally.

Awards

  • 2022. Prof. Anu Masso was awarded the 2022 Global Digital Governance Fellowship at Stanford University for Estonian Scholars.
  • 2022. Prof. Anu Masso  and her colleagues from the University of Tartu were awarded the Estonian National Research Award in Social Sciences.
  • 2021. The book - Masso, A., Tiidenberg, K., Siibak, A. Toim. (2020). Kuidas mõista andmestunud maailma? Metodoloogiline teejuht (Making sense of the datafied world – a methodological guide). Tallinn: Tallinna Ülikooli Kirjastus received three distinct awards:                                                                                                 
  1. The best publication award of Tallinn University in 2020; 
  2. The best Estonian-language university textbook award 2020; 
  3. The best data story of Statistics Estonia's competition 'Data pearl 2021'

Projects

  • 'Bicification: Supporting model shift and cycling through gamification and rewarding' a partner with Tallinn city. 
  • Critical understanding of predictive policing’, NordForsk & Estonian Research Council, 2021-2023/24 (grant number 100786, PI Anu Masso).
  • ‘Automating Welfare in the Baltic Seal Region’ (Baltic Seal Foundation, grant number 3782-3.1.1-2020).
  • ‘Big Data in Social Sciences’ (project manager Anu Masso), Development program ASTRA of Tallinn University of Technology, 2018-2022. 
  • FINEST Twins Smart Cities Centre Of Excellence, European Commission, 2019-2026. http://www.finesttwins.eu/
  • Infotechnological Mobility Observatory, Estonian Research, Infra-structures Road-map by Estonian Government, 2016-2022. https://imo.ut.ee/

People

The Data Lab gathers together a varied mix of affirmed and emerging scholars afferent to different European institutions and coming from fields as diverse as information systems, computational social science, public administration, and critical sociology, media and communication studies, philosophy of technology.

Former Team Members/Visitors

Recent publications

  • van Noordt, C. (2022). Conceptual Challenges of Researching Artificial Intelligence in Public Administration. In DG.O 2022: The 23rd Annual International Conference on Digital Governance Research (dg.o 2022) Association of Computing Machinery, New York, Ny, USA, 183–190, https://doi.org/10.1145/3543434.3543441. 
  • Masso, A., Chukwu, M., & Calzati, S. (2022). (Non)negotiable Spaces of Algorithmic Governance: Perceptions on the Ubenwa Health App as a ‘Relocated’ Solution. New Media and Society, 24 (4), 845–865, DOI: 10.1177/14614448221079027.
  • Tammpuu, P., Masso, A., Ibrahimi, M., Abaku, T. (2022). Estonian E-residency and Conceptions of Platform-Based State-Individual Relationship. Trames Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 26 (1), 3–21. DOI: 10.3176/tr.2022.1.01.
  • Puura, A., Silm, S., Masso, A. (2022). Identifying Relationships between Personal Social Networks and Spacial Mobility: A Study Using Smartphone Tracing and Related Surveys. Social Networks, 68, 306–317. DOI: 10.1016/j.socnet.2021.08.008. 
  • Kalmus, V., Lauristin, M., Masso, A., Opermann, S., Vihalemm, P., Vihalemm, T. (2022) Kust Tulevad Muutused ja Kuhu Kaob Aeg: Mõõtes ja Mõtestades Eesti Uhiskonda. T. Soomere (vastutav), S. Jakobson, K. Tamm, T. Tuisk (Toim). Eesti Vabariigi Preemiad (199 221). Tallinn: Eesti Teaduste Akadeemia Kirjastus. DOI: 10.3176​​​​​​​/evp.2022.09.

       
  • Abaku, T., Calzati, S., & Masso, A. (2021). Exploring digital sustainability of/through Estonia’s e-residency: Africa’s case and the importance of culture for sustainability. Digital Policy, Regulation and Governanceahead-of-print (ahead of print) https://doi.org/10.1108/DPRG-10-2020-0153
  • Puura, A., Silm, S., & Masso, A. (2021). Identifying relationships between personal social networks and spatial mobility: A study using smartphone tracing and related surveys. Social Networks68, 306–317. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socnet.2021.08.008

  • Kasapoglu, T., Masso, A., & Calzati, S. (2021). Unpacking algorithms as technologies of power: Syrian refugees and data experts on algorithmic governance. Digital Geography and Society.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diggeo.2021.100016.

  • Silm, S., Mooses, V., Puura, A., Masso, A., Tominga, A., & Saluveer, E. (2021). The Relationship between Ethno-Linguistic Composition of Social Networks and Activity Space: A Study Using Mobile Phone Data. Social Inclusion, 9(2), 192–207. https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v9i2.3839.

  • Kasapoglu, Tayfun; Masso, Anu (2021). Attaining Security Through Algorithms: Perspectives of Refugees and Data Experts. In: Julie B. Wiest (Ed.). Theorizing Criminality and Policing in the Digital Media Age. Emerald Publishing, 47-65. https://www.academia.edu/45653800/Attaining_Security_Through_Algorithms_Persp ectives_of_Refugees_and_Data_Experts. 

  • Masso, A., Tiidenberg, K., Siibak, A. Toim. (2020). Kuidas mõista andmestunud maailma? Metodoloogiline teejuht (Making sense of the datafied world – a methodological guide). Tallinn: Tallinna Ülikooli Kirjastus. Electronically available: http://www.ester.ee/record=b5396086~S1*est.

  • van Noordt, Colin; Misuraca, Gianluca (2020). Exploratory Insights on Artificial Intelligence for Government in Europe. Social Science Computer Review. DOI: 10.1177/0894439320980449.

  • Masso, A., & Kasapoglu, T. (2020). Understanding power positions in a new digital landscape: Perceptions of Syrian refugees and data experts on relocation algorithm. Information, Communication & Society, 23(8), 1203–1219. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2020.1739731.

  • Misuraca, Gianluca; van Noordt, Colin (2020). AI Watch - Artificial Intelligence in public services. DOI: 10.2760/039619.

  • van Noordt, Colin; Misuraca, Gianluca (2020). Evaluating the impact of articial intelligence technologies in public services. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance, Athens Greece, September 2020. Ed. Yannis Charalabidis, Maria Alexandra Cunha, Demetrios Sarantis. New York, United States: Association for Computing Machinery, 8-16. DOI: 10.1145/3428502.3428504.

  • Misuraca, Gianluca; van Noordt, Colin; Boukli, Anys (2020). The use of AI in public services. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance, Athens Greece, September 2020. Ed. Yannis Charalabidis, Maria Alexandra Cunha, Demetrios Sarantis. New York, United States: Association for Computing Machinery, 90-99. DOI: 10.1145/3428502.3428513.

  • Järv, O., Masso, A., Silm, S., & Ahas, R. (2020). The Link Between Ethnic Segregation and Socio-Economic Status: An Activity Space Approach. Tijdschrift Voor Economische En Sociale Geografie, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1111/tesg.12465.

  • Silm, Siiri; Järv, Olle; Masso, Anu (2020). Tracing human mobilities through mobile phones. In: Büscher, Monika; Freudendal-Pedersen, Malene; Kesselring, Sven; Grauslund Kristensen, Nikolaj (Ed.). Handbook of Research Methods and Applications for Mobilities (182−192). Edward Elgar Publishing. 10.4337/9781788115469.

  • Masso, Anu; Salvet, Sander (2020). Spatial mobilities in a ‘high-speed society’. In: Kalmus, Veronika; Lauristin, Marju; Opermann, Signe; Vihalemm, Triin (Ed.). Researching Estonian transformation: Morphogenetic reflections (173−200). Tartu: University of Tartu Press. https://www.tyk.ee/sotsioloogia/00000012967.

  • Masso, Anu; Lauristin, Marju; Opermann, Signe; Kalmus, Veronika (2020). Applying the morphogenetic perspective for the analysis of Estonian social transformations. In: Kalmus, Veronika; Lauristin, Marju; Opermann, Signe; Vihalemm, Triin (Ed.). Researching Estonian transformation: Morphogenetic reflections (1−31). Tartu: University of Tartu Press. https://www.tyk.ee/sotsioloogia/00000012967

  • Calzati, S. (2020). China, Africa, and the West: A Geopolitical Assessment of Huawei’s Crisis Communication on Social Networks. International Journal of Communication, 14, https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/15031.

  • Calzati, S. (2020). Decolonising 'Data Colonialism': Propositions for Investigating the Realpolitik of Today's Networked Ecology. Television & New Media. https://doi.org/10.1177/1527476420957267.

  • Calzati, S. (2020). (De)scrivere la Cina. Voci testi, mezzi. Milano: Franco Angeli.

  • Masso, A., Männiste, M., & Siibak, A. (2020). ‘End of Theory’ in the Area of Big Data: Methodological Practices and Challenges in the Social Media Studies. Acta Baltica Historiae et Philosophiae Scientiarum8(1), 33–61. https://doi.org/Doi:10.11590/abhps.2020.1.02 ; https://www.ies.ee/bahps/acta-baltica/abhps-8-1/02_Masso-2020-1-02.pdf.

  • Männiste, M., & Masso, A. (2020). ‘Three Drops of Blood for the Devil’: Data Pioneers as Intermediaries of Algorithmic Governance Ideals. Mediální Studia | Media Studies14(1), 55–74. https://www.medialnistudia.fsv.cuni.cz/front.file/download?file=medialni_studia_1_2020%2004%20manniste_masso.pdf.

  • van Noordt, C., & Misuraca, G. (2019). New Wine in Old Bottles: Chatbots in Government. Electronic Participation (49-59). Springer, Cham. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science; 11686). DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-27397-2_5

  • Salvet, S., & Masso, A. (2019). Mediatization of (Im)mobility Experiences: New Media Use of (Im)mobile Groups. Mediatization Studies, 3(0), 21–35, https://journals.umcs.pl/ms/article/view/8131.  

  • Alberti, V.; Alonso Raposo, M.; Attardo, C.; Auteri, D.; Ribeiro Barranco, R.; Batista E. Silva, F.; Benczur, P.; Bertoldi, P.; Bono, F.; Bussolari, I.; Louro Caldeira, S.; Carlsson, J.; Christidis, P.; Christodoulou, A.; Ciuffo, B.; Corrado, S. ... van Noordt, C. ... Zulian, G. (2019). The Future of Cities. Publications Office of the European Union. DOI: 10.2760/375209.

  • Masso, Anu; Schlüter, Elmar; Davidov, Eldad (2019). What factors explain anti-Muslim prejudice? An assessment of the effects of Muslim population size, institutional characteristics and immigration-related media claims. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1−16, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369183X.2018.1550160?journalCode=cjms20.

  • Masso, Anu; Silm, Siiri; Ahas, Rein (2019). Generational differences in spatial mobility: A study with mobile phone data. Population, Space and Place, 25 (2), https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/psp.2210

  • Tammpuu, Piia; Masso, Anu (2019). Transnational Digital Identity as an Instrument for Global Digital Citizenship: The Case of Estonia’s E-Residency. Information Systems Frontiers, 21 (3), 621−634, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10796-019-09908-y

Popular science publications

Data School

DataLab offers diverse training opportunities in the field of data analysis techniques, software and methods as well as in the field of data studies. Data Lab current training activities include:

  • DataLab seminar series within Ph.D. course HHM9030
  • Eye Tracking Lab doctoral school within Ph.D. course HHI9011
  • Course in “Big Data and Governance”, 2nd semester, Tallinn University of Technology (first class: 21st of February, 5.15pm-8.15pm)
  • Digital Methods Summer School, August 24-27, 2020, 2019, 2018
  • Ministries’ chancellors training program on governance through data, 2019
  • Andmestunud ühiskonna uurimise meetodid: lugemik (Research Methods for Studying Datafied Society). Tallinn University Press, book collection of 24 chapters, editors Masso, A.; Tiidenberg, K.; Siibak, A.

Data diaries from "Big Data and Governance" course.

PhD and post-doctoral positions openings

We are committed to fostering synergies with institutions, research groups, stakeholders – both academic and non academic – whose main activities and interests revolve around the core themes researched at Data Lab.

Next funding opportunities:

We will open the new PhD position in 2022.
More information: datalab@taltech.ee 

PhD position in "Critical Understanding of Predictive Policing" (application dates: 15th of November - 15th of December 2021). More info: here

PhD position in "Urban Analytics and Data Technologies" (application dates: 15th of November - 15th of December 2021). More info: here

Postdoctoral position in "Critical Understanding of Predictive Policing" (application deadline: 7th of December 2020; appointment from: 1st of February 2021). More info: here

PhD position in "Urban Analytics and Data Technologies" (application deadline: 16th of December 2020; appointment from: 1st of February 2021). More info: here

  • PUT: Academic staff in Estonia

  • Visiting professorship: ASTRA program (contact team for more information)

Contact

Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance
School of Business and Governance 

Tallinn University of Technology

Address: Akadeemia tee 3
12618, Tallinn, Estonia

datalab@taltech.ee