Precarious Migrants in a Sharing Economy| Data Literacy as an Emerging Challenge in the Migration/Refugee Context: A Critical Exploration of Communication Efforts Around “Refugee Apps”

Dennis Nguyen, Sergül Nguyen


Digital media serve manifold purposes connected to communication, transition, resource allocation, and integration in the context of forced migration. Many apps and platforms rely on user data. Organizations do not always clearly communicate what data are collected for which purposes. Policies on data and privacy should convey this information, but they rarely increase clarity and transparency. This can create vulnerabilities for users and raises questions about data literacy: How much do they understand about data practices and how can organizations inform them better? This qualitative study explores 10 digital services (apps-based and web-based) with the walkthrough method in combination with a content analysis of data policies. It charts communication efforts about data practices and consequences for privacy. The findings imply that many organizations fail to address these issues efficiently. They need to critically revise their communication strategies to create transparency and build data literacy among users.


data literacy, data practices, communication, apps, refugees

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