Case Studies

Case Study Approach 

The AGENCY work programme is structured around four case studies that have been identified from trends reported in the White Paper on Online Harms and the framework for unintended harms. The resulting case studies represent situations where technology intersects with social challenges related to agency and empowerment.

The case studies we consider are: 

Image of a personal health tracking device

Case Study 1: Personal Devices for Health and Wellbeing

Example Complex Harm: life-interfering misappropriation of health-related data, unhealthy eating behaviours through peer pressure.  

Case Study 2: Digital Identity Management

Example Complex Harm: being excluded from travelling or borrowing money because of fully automated decision-making based on biased, unexplained AI. 

Image of a woman entering her card details online
Image of someone controlling their smart home on their ipad

Case Study 3: Smart Homes

Example Complex Harm: domestic violence made worse by surveillance, misappropriation and misuse of data collected by industrial parties.  

Case Study 4: Online Disinformation

Example Complex Harm: voter manipulation through ‘fake news’, market manipulation and shaming or otherwise hurting individuals 

Image of a set of scales with fact and fake