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Photo: Linnea Lindberg
Anna Ståhlbröst is Professor of Information Systems at Luleå University of Technology. Photo: Linnea Lindberg View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Our digital tracks risk democracy

Published: 13 May 2019

How does the digital transformation of society look, and what can we do to make the positive overweight the negative aspects? Anna Ståhlbröst, Professor of Information Systems at Luleå University of Technology, wants us to become more aware when we are online.

– One of the most important issues is the impact of digitalisation on democracy and how we treat our fellows. We are connected, but to a certain extent also socially disconnected, says Anna Ståhlbröst, who held a well-attended lecture in the new Kiruna City hall on May 10th. 

The digital transformation of society is progressing faster and we are soon affected in every task in our private life, in our work and in our role as citizens. Some impact is positive and developing, but it also has negative aspects, she says. Last year, it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica collected personal information about millions of Facebook users, in many cases without their knowledge, to address political messages. Anna Ståhlbröst says that this can have extensive consequences for democracy, if we are naive.

–  It is not difficult to steal someone's identity, because we share it. We cannot and should not slow down technological developments, but we can be more reflective in what we do.

Research for technology development on human conditions

Anna Ståhlbröst's research in Information Systems at Luleå University of Technology deals with the human role in relation to the digital transformation. Much of the technology development is technology driven, but she investigates how people want the technology to be. Anna Ståhlbröst was the first in the world to write a thesis on the concept Living Lab, which deals with how innovative products in information technology can be developed. 

– Can we work side by side with the digitalisation and that the technology helps us, we can get very positive effects from it. Then it is important that the users feel included, and that the developers embrace what the users say, she says.

In the media

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Anna Ståhlbröst

Anna Ståhlbröst, Professor and Head of Subject

Phone: +46 (0)920 492091
Organisation: Information systems, Digital Services and Systems, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering