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Research Projects

Student informational privacy: The impact of EdTech in New Zealand schools

We conducted a research study focused on the growing use of Educational Technology (EdTech) in New Zealand schools and its implications for student data privacy. The study investigates how schools understand student privacy, the types of data collected, and the privacy protocols in place in relation to EdTech used in communication, administration, management, and learning. It addresses the challenges of protecting student data in a now  privatized education setting. Key findings report to follow...

Distance Learning

Children's data privacy

Children's rights to data privacy have not yet to be consciously included in our approach to managing online risks. This project wanted to explore how families in New Zealand understand privacy. We conducted in-depth interviews with parents and teenagers to explore how they conceptualise and manage privacy today. We were particularly interested in exploring how they think about personal information in the digital environment, and specifically commercial use of their personal information. The upshot is - we need to raise awareness not only among children and teenagers, but among parents about what personal data is in the digital context and how commercial data practices can generate harms.


Wearable Technology in the workplace

Our research into wearable technology (WT) in organizations, conducted before the Covid-19 pandemic, has taken on new significance in today's rapidly changing work landscape. The pandemic, a turning point for the global workforce, has accelerated the shift to remote work arrangements, bringing with it a consequential rise in corporate surveillance.

Our pre-pandemic analysis of over 150 media articles had already highlighted the growing use of WT in the workplace, often celebrated for enhancing employee wellness. However, the sudden and widespread transition to remote work has intensified the need to critically re-evaluate the role and impact of corporate surveillance through WT.

This unexpected shift underscores the importance of our findings. While the initial narratives around WT focused on their potential as a wellness tool, the reality of increased remote work has brought forth significant challenges regarding worker privacy and individual rights. Our research, now more relevant than ever, calls for a renewed and critical examination of how WT is being used by corporations to monitor their employees.

In this new era, the balance between employee wellness, productivity, and privacy rights is delicate and complex. As we continue to witness an upsurge in the use of WT for employee monitoring, the urgency for further research into the implications of this trend cannot be overstated. It's crucial to advocate for policies and practices that respect and protect employee privacy, ensuring that the use of WT in remote work environments does not infringe on individual rights.

Tech Watch

Educational Video: Understanding personal information in the digital society

We interviewed a range of families, both parents and children to explore how they think about privacy online. We found that not many parents or children are aware of the nature and scope of data collected, and further, created about them from their use of digital devices and online services. This video offers some insights for parents and children about what personal data is and the consequences of commercial data mining of children's data.

Film Reels

Campaigning for NZ children's privacy

Often when I talk with legal or government actors about my concerns about corporate surveillance of children in schools, the concept of children being entitled to data privacy rights seems to conflict with current thinking about both childhood and privacy in New Zealand.

Children's rights to data privacy have yet to be consciously included in our approach to managing online risks. We need government, schools, parents and students to get involved in safeguarding children's privacy. It cannot, however, be left up to parents and children to manage their data privacy. Check out our campaigning and advocacy work aiming to create better child-specific data protection regulation in New Zealand. Find out more about what we are doing here.


The impact of familial cultures on children's digital inclusion

To better understand the reasons why not all children benefit equally from using the Internet and digital services SocialResearchNZ conducted a series of in-depth qualitative interviews with 15 families in Auckland, New Zealand. The interviews were conducted first with a parent, and then a child from each family. The project sought to identify how these families engaged with digital technology in the home and how this shapes children's orientations and motivation toward using digital technology.  Using Pierre Bourdiueu's theory of practice toolkit we explored how familial background and upbringing, and access to economic, cultural, and social capital impact how children benefit from digital technology use. A publication will be available on New Media & Society shortly.


Project exploring mature women's access to work

This work considers the tensions between broader structural conditions and individual agency in relation to finding sustainable work as we age. through interviews with older women we explored the individual life course and the tensions and intersections with structural labour market factors, i.e. political, organisational, social and also technological contexts. There are several expected outputs from this work. We will publish through our blog and academic outlets.

A Woman Writing at Home

How AI impacts older women's access to employment

Thinking about the digitalisation of recruitment and HRM this work will explore the digital skills and digital capital of women 50+ in relation to accessing  sustainable work as they age. Data gathering is completed and we are now working on a paper using assemblage concepts to understand how older women's digital experience tends to be discounted through contemporary digital HRM selection processes. More will be available soon.

Business People
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