How feminist research shapes AI, privacy and data protection discourse

We conduct research for evidence in policymaking; to determine how the solution we are developing will work and to assess the impact of our solution. There are several ways to skin this cat called research – whether through a numbers game (quantitative) or through an experiential approach (qualitative). One can also start with a theory that they seek to test and prove or disprove (inductive) or start with questions and let the research guide you developing theories based on the patterns observed (deductive). There are of course debates on what makes good research – the numbers or the words – but this is not the focus for now.

In the first article of this series, I emphasised the need for gendered concerns on privacy and data protection to be considered in policy development. In this second article, I dive into why a feminist methodology is useful to think about artificial intelligence (AI), privacy and data protection. I walk you through reflections on my feminist conceptual framing for my project on AI, the right to privacy and data protection in South Africa. Does a feminist lens bring a different understanding of issues?

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