Universities are increasingly dependent on cloud-based data infrastructure and services offered by Big Tech companies. This is efficient and convenient, but it also seriously affects the autonomy of students, staff and higher education as such. How do we keep control over our own data so that academic freedom is not restricted? We need a thorough discussion about this development! Therefore, the University of Groningen will be working on a strategy to gain more autonomy over its own data.
At the moment it is unclear what happens to all the data that the Big Tech companies collect. Because the control is in the hands of a small number of large parties, we cannot be sure that data is being used in our interest.
For the UG, it is not just a question of privacy and data protection, it also affects the autonomy of the universities in general. This dependence influences the content of education and research, which means that the data autonomy of the University is increasingly being questioned and public values are being discussed in a broader context.
The CIT has started the discussion to investigate the possibilities of how the University of Groningen can gain more autonomy over its data in the future. Together with various representatives from across the University, we are working on a roadmap to promote data autonomy and a strategy that will enable the UG to respect, protect and promote academic freedom in the digital age.
Data autonomy concerns everyone, whether you are a student, teacher, researcher or employee. Everyone who wants to contribute to the roadmap to more data autonomy is very welcome. Do you want to be part of the journey? Join the data autonomy community or become an ambassador!
On 22 June the launch event ‘Data Autonomy, Let’s do it!’ takes place in the House of Connections at the Grote Markt in Groningen. This is the new building of the UG for interdisciplinary schools. For more information and registration, visit our website or follow us on Twitter, Mastodon and LinkedIn.
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