Big data is being positioned as a research agenda within HCI. But I confess that I’m troubled by developments in the relationship between people (and their data, and as data) and the algorithms of big data analysis. A recent Communications article repurposed cellular telephony call detail records (CDRs) to determine hundreds of thousands of people’s average commutes, carbon footprints, and locations . The authors cited the prohibitive costs of collecting this data using traditional methods as justification for repurposing CDRs. While not conducted by HCI researchers, this report focuses on topics of interest to us: mobility and sustainability. It raised…
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