When we use digital services and applications such as Google, Amazon, health tracking devices, or messenger applications, data traces are created that record our (digital) behavior. These trace data make our behavior observable at a granular level and therefore offer great potential for many research areas. So far, this potential has rarely been tapped due to various obstacles, including a lack of methodological solutions. Against this background, the DIZH Data Donation Lab has two main goals: First, provide an infrastructure to collect digital trace data through data donations by study participants and second, provide a platform for the transdisciplinary exchange among researcher working with such data.
An infrastructure to collect data donations
Data donation refers to the active consent of an individual user to donate her or his personal data for research purposes. The infrastructure will enable researchers to set up a data donation project and approach study participants to donate their data. For participants willing to donate their data, the infrastructure will provide an easy-to-use and understandable interface through which they can contribute their personal data to a research project. Besides the technical implementation, the infrastructure also considers the associated legal, ethical, psychological, and epistemological aspects of the donation process. This infrastructure is currently under development.
A platform for transdisciplinary exchange
The DIZH Data Donation Lab will also provide a platform for the transdisciplinary exchange around the topic of data donation where researchers of the Zurich higher education institutions can share their past experiences, and challenges with this approach and take an active part in collaboratively developing and shaping the data donation infrastructure.
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