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Communal Self-Tracking: Data Philanthropy, Solidarity and Privacy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Self-Tracking: Empirical and Philosophical Investigations
EditorsBtihaj Ajana
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages141
ISBN (Electronic)9783319653792
ISBN (Print)9783319653785
StatePublished - 2017

King's Authors


he ‘self’ is often an overemphasised part of self-tracking culture. However, self-tracking is not restricted to individualised forms, but is increasingly becoming a socialised phenomenon, whereby users are incited to share with others information about their physical activities and biodata via social media and dedicated platforms. This chapter builds on previous sections, looking at the ‘communal’ aspect of self-tracking while questioning the ‘solidaristic’ dimension of data sharing. It considers this communal aspect as a form of digital biosociality and links the discussion to debates on ‘data philanthropy’. In doing so, this chapter explores some of the ideological functions of data donation and its philanthropic discourses, highlighting the emerging tensions between data ownership, data sharing and privacy issues in the context of self-tracking practices and data.

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