Dr. Jorge Pereira Campos is an Assistant professor at Leiden University. Before joining Leiden University, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. His research focuses on consumer and organizational behaviour with a particular interest in privacy and smart city participatory practices. Recently, he has been focusing on how workers navigate AI developments in their workplace. Campos also collaborates closely with New York University and is part of the programming committee of CPDP – a major conference on Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection.
Could you tell me more about your academic background and expertise?
I have a master’s degree in Analytical Marketing (consumer analytics). During my degree, I started reflecting on some of the more critical issues on how data is collected and processed. After, I enrolled in a PhD in Management with focus on data in cities – that is how I arrived in the world of ‘smart cities’. The focus of my PhD was on how citizens construct the risks of giving their own data to cities from a social psychology angle – what I called ‘data donation’. Funny thing – a consortium of six Dutch universities was formed to create a data donation platform to support academic research. This shows that it is an increasingly popular topic.
I am interested in a more equalized power balance by giving citizens the opportunity to donate their data instead."
Traditionally, citizens’ data is collected through sensors and other top-down techniques. I am interested in a more equalized power balance by giving citizens the opportunity to donate their data instead. This a bottom-approach, in which citizens decide what personal data they want to give to the city and under which conditions.
Citizen involvement in their cities is not a new thing: participatory budgets, for example, have existed for a while now. The implementation of technologies just comes to enhances citizen participation. You can simply upload a picture of a pothole to social media, tag your city council, and maybe your mayor, and hold them publicly accountable. A bit more sophisticated programme is the donation of, for example, Strava, Google Maps, or Waze data so that the city can better analyse mobility patterns and work to improve the network. We do, however, need to approach this critically as to ensure citizens’ privacy is fully accounted for.
During my time at Erasmus University, most of my projects focused on the Smart Construction Industry – still connected to smart cities, but in a different way.
I am now working as an Assistant Professor at Leiden University, focussing – once again – on Consumer and Organizational Behaviour.
Often legislation does not consider how people are really impacted by technology, how they navigate and understand technological environments."
Why do you think an interdisciplinary approach is important?
To address complex issues, you need different perspectives. A lot of the work that I do now involves talking to people across different disciplines, one of them being law. Often legislation does not consider how people are really impacted by technology, how they navigate and understand technological environments. This perspective helps the design of human-centric policies and technologies. I am currently part of Leiden Law and frequently meet with colleagues from NYU Law to discuss these issues,
How did you become involved with the Centre for BOLD Cities?
I first came across prof. dr. Liesbet van Zoonen’s work during my PhD. She wrote an article about privacy in smart cities. When I joined Erasmus University Rotterdam, I did not immediately realise that the Centre for BOLD Cities was also here at Erasmus University. It was not until dr. Jason Pridmore, whom I worked closely with, suggested that I connected with the Centre, that I realised that.
Together with dr. Joao Goncalves and dr. Jason Pridmore, I wrote a book chapter for the BOLD Cities publication ‘Speculative Design Methods for Citizen Engagement in Smart Cities Research’, which was edited by prof. dr. Liesbet van Zoonen and dr. Emiel Rijshouwer. BOLD Cities also sponsored the SSN Conference in Rotterdam last summer.
As the Centre is part of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus strategic alliance, now that I have joined Leiden University, I hope to continue this collaboration further.
Do you have a book/podcast/film which inspires you that you would like to share with us?
Not directly related to smart cities. I really enjoy books like Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcom Gladwell and Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Both focusing on the intricacies of human behaviour – how we think, how we act, how we make decisions. I am very interested in that topic.