Centre for Internet & Society

The systems and economies of data has emerged as a key concern of the contemporary 'information'/'informatising' societies. In this cluster we explore the various manifestations and implications of digital data in the context of the Indian society and government – supply, demand, and usages of government data; electronic government and data-driven delivery of services; Internet of things, locative media, and smart cities; infrastructures, systems, and circuits of data collection, storage, sharing, and re-usage; and concerns of ownership and privacy around personal data.


Recent Posts


Workshop on 'Privacy after Big Data' (Delhi, November 12) Nov 12, 2016 from 09:30 AM to 05:30 PM Centre for the Study of Developing Societies 29, Rajpur Road, Civil Lines, Delhi 110054, by Sumandro Chattapadhyay
The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) and the Sarai programme, CSDS, invite you to a workshop on 'Privacy after Big Data: What Changes? What should Change?' on Saturday, November 12. This workshop aims to build a dialogue around some of the key government-led big data initiatives in India and elsewhere that are contributing significant new challenges and concerns to the ongoing debates on the right to privacy. It is an open event. Please register to participate.
CISxScholars Delhi - William F. Stafford (Nov 03, 6:30 pm) Nov 03, 2016 from 06:30 PM to 08:00 PM CIS, First Floor, B 1/8, Hauz Khas, near G Block Market, afte Crunch, by Sumandro Chattapadhyay
We are delighted to have William F. Stafford, PhD candidate in UC Berkeley, present on "Public Measurements, Private Measurements, and the Convergence of Units" at the CIS office in Delhi on Thursday, Nov 03, at 6:30 pm. Please RSVP if you are joining us: <[email protected]>.
Blog Entry Big Data Governance Frameworks for 'Data Revolution for Sustainable Development' by Meera Manoj — last modified Jul 05, 2016 01:13 PM
A key component of the process to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals is the call for a global 'data revolution' to better understand, monitor, and implement development interventions. Recently there has been several international proposals to use big data, along with reconfigured national statistical systems, to operationalise this 'data revolution for sustainable development.' This analysis by Meera Manoj highlights the different models of collection, management, sharing, and governance of global development data that are being discussed.
Blog Entry Data for Governance, Governance of Data, and Data Anxieties by Sumandro Chattapadhyay — last modified Jul 03, 2016 05:59 AM
The Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) organised a panel discussion on 'The Data Explosion – How the Internet of Things will Affect Media Freedom and Communication Systems?' at Deutsche Welle's Global Media Forum 2016, held in Bonn, Germany during June 13-15, 2016. Sumandro Chattapadhyay was invited as one of the panelists.
Blog Entry Call for Proposal: Big Data for Development – Initial Field Studies by Sumandro Chattapadhyay — last modified Apr 28, 2016 07:28 AM
The Centre for Internet and Society, as part of a project with the University of Manchester and University of Sheffield, is inviting calls from researchers to undertake a brief initial study of a specific instance of use of big data for development in India. This is an exercise to build preliminary understanding of the landscape of big data for development in India, identify key research questions and priorities, and start developing connections with researchers interested in the field. The studies will be 6 weeks long - running from May to June 2016 - and the researchers are expected to produce a 3,000 words long report. We will support three field studies.
Blog Entry The Last Chance for a Welfare State Doesn’t Rest in the Aadhaar System by Sumandro Chattapadhyay — last modified Apr 19, 2016 01:18 PM
Boosting welfare is the message, which is how Aadhaar is being presented in India. The Aadhaar system as a medium, however, is one that enables tracking, surveillance, and data monetisation. This piece by Sumandro Chattapadhyay was published in The Wire on April 19, 2016.
Blog Entry FOV Podcast - Data, People, and Smart Cities by Sumandro Chattapadhyay — last modified Dec 02, 2015 07:54 AM
For the second part of the Smart City podcast series, Sruthi Krishnan and Harsha K from Fields of View spoke with Sumandro Chattapadhyay on data, people, and smart cities. Here is the podcast. We are grateful to Fields of View for producing and sharing this recording.
Blog Entry Studying the Emerging Database State in India: Notes for Critical Data Studies (Accepted Abstract) by Sumandro Chattapadhyay — last modified Nov 13, 2015 05:54 AM
"Critical Data Studies (CDS) is a growing field of research that focuses on the unique theoretical, ethical, and epistemological challenges posed by 'Big Data.' Rather than treat Big Data as a scientifically empirical, and therefore largely neutral phenomena, CDS advocates the view that data should be seen as always-already constituted within wider data assemblages." The Big Data and Society journal has provisionally accepted a paper abstract of mine for its upcoming special issue on Critical Data Studies.
Blog Entry Open Data Intermediaries in Developing Countries - A Synthesis Report by Sumandro Chattapadhyay — last modified Jun 16, 2015 09:40 AM
The roles of intermediaries in open data is insufficiently explored; open data intermediaries are often presented as single and simple linkages between open data supply and use. This synthesis research paper offers a more socially nuanced approach to open data intermediaries using the theoretical framework of Bourdieu’s social model, in particular, his concept of species of capital as informing social interaction... Because no single intermediary necessarily has all the capital available to link effectively to all sources of power in a field, multiple intermediaries with complementary configurations of capital are more likely to connect between power nexuses. This study concludes that consideration needs to be given to the presence of multiple intermediaries in an open data ecosystem, each of whom may possess different forms of capital to enable the use and unlock the potential impact of open data.
Blog Entry Mathematisation of the Urban and not Urbanisation of Mathematics: Smart Cities and the Primitive Accumulation of Data - Accepted Abstract by Sumandro Chattapadhyay — last modified Nov 13, 2015 05:47 AM
"Many accounts of smart cities recognise the historical coincidence of cybernetic control and neoliberal capital. Even where it is machines which process the vast amounts of data produced by the city so much so that the ruling and managerial classes disappear from view, it is usually the logic of capital that steers the flows of data, people and things. Yet what other futures of the city may be possible within the smart city, what collective intelligence may it bring forth?" The Fibreculture Journal has accepted an abstract of mine for its upcoming issue on 'Computing the City.'