I am a Researcher in the AI on the Ground Initiative of Data & Society. I study the intersection of data infrastructures, global development, and public policy. I examine the everyday experiences of data subjects — people who are subject to data-driven practices — and follow the mutual shaping of their lives with their data records. I finished my dissertation project centered on producing an ethnography of the legal, administrative, and technological challenges in building and using India’s biometrics-based national identification infrastructure, Aadhaar, at the Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University, in August 2020.
How do infrastructures mediate the relationship between visions of data-driven governance and the everyday experiences of data subjects? While for most infrastructures work the same way, for others they break down in uneven and distributed ways. This uneven distribution is at the heart of current struggles over fairness, accountability, and justice in data-driven public policy design. I study this unevenness by conducting empirically grounded investigations of the features and limits of infrastructuring digital technologies in the lives of data subjects.
Email: ranjit [at] datasociety [dot] net.