I campaign and write about the impact of data technologies and artificial intelligence on civic rights and democracy. I am anthropologist, the mother of two daughters, and Professor in Media and Communication Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS-HSG) at the University of St. Gallen , as well as the Chair of Media and Culture in the Institute of Media and Communication Management (MCM-HSG). I was previously and Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University of London.
My work has appeared on top-ranked international journals and edited collections. My first book was the product of years of research (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy) on digital participation and social media campaigning, and is titled Activism on the Web: Everyday Struggles against Digital Capitalism (Routledge, 2015). My new book, is the direct result of the Child | Data | Citizen project and is titled Child Data Citizen: How Tech-Companies are Profiling Us From Before Birth, and is forthcoming with MIT Press.
I believe that social research is about public engagement. My research received different mentions in international mainstream media and I work with companies who believe in ‘privacy by design’ and with civil-society organisations and privacy groups that fight for our data rights. In 2018 the Information Commissioner’s Office of the UK Government used my research as evidence for the development of age appropriate design code. In 2019 the Irish Government invited me to discuss AI Ethics at the Digital Summit 2019, and she was also selected amongst thousands of candidates to talk at TedxMileHigh in Denver, in front of 5000 people.
I am currently the chair of the E-Seminars of the Media Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropology and was the principal investigator on the ‘Social Movements and Media Technologies: Present Challenges and Future Developments’ Seminar series’ funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, UK (2015-2017) . I acted as vice-chair of the Digital Culture and Communication Section of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA).
Prof. Dr. Veronica Barassi