Datafication, Automation, and Inequality (SC)

Section 2, Spring 23
Ranchordas, Sofia

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 0/16
Credits: 1
Days* Time Room Start Date End Date
  • MTWR
  • 0820-0950
  • WB129
03/13/2023 03/23/2023
*“R” means Thursday

Course Description

This short course seminar discusses the widespread datafication and automation of government and their impact on the equal treatment of underrepresented groups. Datafication is understood here as the trend which relies on the ubiquitous collection and processing of personal and non-personal data with the aim to transform organizations into data-driven systems. Datafication is a social, economic, and political phenomenon which has important legal implications (for example, profiling of vulnerable citizens based on gathered data in the context of welfare fraud investigations). This seminar starts thus with an analysis of datatification from a multidisciplinary perspective. The seminar focuses on the use of datafication in the public sector from welfare fraud enforcement to education. The seminar will then explore the use of AI in the public sector and how digital technology not only automates discrimination but also how automation has become a central mechanism through which racism, gender imbalances, and segregation of low-income citizens operate. Drawing on comparative cases (United States, Northern European countries such as The Netherlands and Denmark, and the Global South, namely India), we discuss some of the implications of datafication and automation for equal treatment, privacy, and due process. The final sessions of the seminar are dedicated to discussing solutions to redesign datafication and automation to empower citizens against discrimination.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): None
Description: None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will be required to submit a paper via EXPO by noon on April 6th.

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Wednesday, March 15, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Saturday, March 25, 11:59 PM