You are here

Unfair ID

Unfair ID

First Edition

176 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

We live in an age of digital ID. Through the digitisation of our biometric and demographic selves, digital ID converts human beings into digital data, which in turn mediates access to services and rights – be they public or private, commercial or not-for-profit, essential or non-essential.

Allegedly designed to improve services, and to aid humanitarianism and social inclusion, digital ID has multiple hidden complexities. From denying access to essential goods, to algorithmic bias, to the sharing of sensitive data about vulnerable groups – digital ID is not necessarily just, or balanced, or helping. It is often severely unfair.

This book offers a journey into stories of unfair ID. Exploring examples across sectors, countries and data-managed populations, it takes a data justice perspective on what this unfairness effectively means for the users of digital identity systems. Examples range from denial of food rations to eligible beneficiaries, to the searchability of asylum-seeker data in police force databases, to the algorithmically-determined exclusion of genuinely entitled users from anti-poverty schemes.

This book also explores forms of resistance to these injustices, showing how solidarity movements can resist, engage and challenge the damages of unfair ID. Through its research, it sets out to imagine forms of fair ID where people’s rights and entitlements are upheld, ultimately contributing to build a future of justice for the digitally identified.

Silvia Masiero is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at the HISP Center, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo.

Chapter 1: Introduction: Unfair ID
Chapter 2: The Digitalisation of Identity
Chapter 3: Digital ID: A Data Justice Framework
Chapter 4: Legal Injustice
Chapter 5: Informational Injustice
Chapter 6: Design-Related Injustice
Chapter 7: On ID, Solidarity and Resistance
Chapter 8: Imagining Fair ID

Silvia Masiero

Silvia Masiero is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at the University of Oslo, Norway. She is a long-term researcher of information and communication technology for development (ICT4D), with a focus on the role of digital platforms in socio-economic development processes. She has authored over 80 peer-reviewed research papers on topics including digital social protection, platform-mediated surveillance and decolonial approaches to information systems research. Silvia is Editor-In-Chief of the journal Information Technology for Development, Chair of the IFIP Working Group 9.4 on the Implications of Information and... More About Author