Digital Rights Research Team

All Inholland locations
Contact person
Wina Smeenk

The aim of the Digital Rights Research Team

Our digital lives are taking flight. Next to our physical lives, we are now meeting each other virtually for work and leisure, and are spotted and traced without knowing both in physical places (areas and streets) and in virtually spaces. Technology is developing rapidly and policy and strategic decision makers are not able to keep up, resulting in reactive behavior and unknown threats for citizens in modern society. Moreover, technology can lead to inequality and exclusion as demonstrated in the Dutch childcare benefits scandal.

Dutch? Read more here

How is this research conducted?

The aim of the Inholland Digital Rights Research Team, co-founded by Professors Wina Smeenk, Ander de Keijzer and Ben Wagner, is to focus their work on the social, economic, cultural, communication, design and technological elements leading to a digitally responsible society. This means that we as researchers want to be part of the debate and research on what technology in our digital age can contribute to the quality of peoples’ lives: how people can benefit from the digital society and how they are hindered or, even worse, excluded from partaking in our digital society.

"What can technology contribute to the quality of peoples’ lives? And how can people benefit from the digital society?"

Added value for study programs

Research Minor Data Driven Smart Society 

Nowadays, we produce an enormous amount of data. However, there are still major challenges in converting this data into useful information for practical use. The minor Data Driven Smart Society focuses on four current research issues in which data and professional practice aren’t optimally collaborating yet. We challenge students to connect data to professional practice, in order to reach cross disciplinary collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Want to know more?

Interested in this research minor? Download the pdf file below to read more. Please note the information is written in Dutch. 

Read more here (Dutch)

Living Labs

Our society is constantly changing. How can you make sure your education is aligned with these continuous changes? And how do you keep track of what knowledge and skills are needed in professional practice? How do you ensure that students work independently, and how will they get used to our rapidly changing world? Inholland University of Applied Sciences looks for the answers in our Urban Living Labs.

Sustainable Media Lab

In order to do this, the Digital Rights Research Team collaborates with the Sustainable Media Lab. In our Sustainable Media Lab we bring together leading researchers, experts and practitioners to explore what more sustainable media systems could look like. Rapidly changing technical, legal, and societal environments require a different way of thinking about media, its technical entanglements and its role in society.

More information 

Protecting Digital Rights: an exhibition by students

In Spring 2023, our cohort of Sustainable Media Lab students co-developed a
playful, participatory exhibition called: Protecting Digital Rights in the Morgenstond.

This online and offline exhibition explores how digital rights are experienced for everyday residents of the Morgenstond neighborhood in The Hague.

This exhibition is co-produced with Digital Rights House, the Municipality of The Hague, and Inholland University of Applied Sciences. Watch the video about the exhibition or visit the online exhibition. 

Visit the online exhibition 

Participating Research Groups

Research publication about Digital Rights

Social media companies are becoming more and more important gatekeepers for guarding digital rights. However, they are most often not held responsible for that. In this publication, author Ben Wagner, lecturer in Media, Technology & Society, discusses how audits can ensure that social media companies have greater accountability.

Read publication

Rights in the Digital City

Where can you reach out to if the digital world cannot help you out?

Our communication with governmental organizations and commercial businesses takes place online more and more. This has advantages, such as shorter waiting lists and faster application processes. However, it also creates uncertainties. Where can citizens turn to if the digital world cannot help them out? What are our digital civil rights?

Professor Wina Smeenk participated in the discussion about Rights in the Digital City, an event organized by Pakhuis De Zwijger.

Watch the video recording of the event below. Please note the event was in Dutch. 

Protecting your digital rights

"What I realise now, is that if an online service is free, then I am the product"

Websites placing cookies on your computer to track your browsing behaviour. TikTok storing your personal data in China. Are you aware of what products, services, and organisations do with your personal data? Perhaps it’s possible to design a 'label' that shows you at a glance how companies respect your digital rights. Researchers from the Digital Rights Research Team, along with students from various programmes at Inholland University of Applied Sciences and MBO Media College, took part in a co-design session exploring the idea of a digital rights label, and some of the wider issues of digital rights.

Read news article

Read research publication

Partner Digital Rights House Amsterdam

Digital Rights House (DRH) Amsterdam is partner of the Digital Rights Research Team. DRH is an independent organization that conducts research on privacy protection and digital rights of citizens. They share their knowledge and advice with us. The aim is to protect the digital rights of the citizens of Amsterdam, who are living in a rapidly digitizing society. To achieve this, DRH collaborates with the Municipality of Amsterdam (Gemeente Amsterdam). Read more about this collaboration here.

Get in touch with the Digital Rights Research Team

Would you like to collaborate with the Digital Rights Research Team? Or do you have any questions? Get in touch with Ander de Keijzer, Ben Wagner or Wina Smeenk.

Digital Rights news