Theme 6Digital technologies, big data and cybersecurity

Chair Sweden: Salman Toor – Uppsala University (
Chair South Africa: Neil Davis Evans – University of Zululand (

Rapidly emerging and increasingly diffused digital technologies have resulted in data collection and exploitation reaching new extremes within society. New opportunities arise that deserve further exploration in regard to how digital technologies and big data can be used to address critical societal challenges in areas such as health, transport, energy, food and education. For instance in the e-learning context, digital technologies and data collection from active use and experimentation can help personalizing the knowledge creation process.

However, big data analysis also poses legal and ethical challenges in regard to privacy, transparency and fairness. For complying with principles the upcoming EU GDPR and South African’s POPIA, multidisciplinary research on innovative solutions for achieving privacy, transparency and fairness by design are needed.

Moreover, our increasing reliance upon digital technologies such as internet-of-things and extensive data collection also increase society’s vulnerability to global cybersecurity attacks requires further attention by the research Community.