Course Description

Students will critically examine how individuals, groups, and society create and are created by digital data and algorithms. Students will explore social, political, legal, and professional issues across varying contexts including social media and the Internet of Things.

Additional Course Description

Our contemporary information environment is increasingly digitized, meaning most of what we know as well as how we work, participate in civic and political life, shop, find entertainment, fall in love, maintain our friend and family ties, and learn, are done through digital media. The consequence of this is a deep wealth of behavioral data – likes, clicks, shares, comments, views - that marketeers, tech giants, businesses, the entertainment industry, the medical industry, politicians, and government now actively use to segment, target for persuasive messaging, and predict future behavior of the public. This course introduces students to technology and the variety of techniques of data gathering and segmentation, and the social, economic, political, and cultural implications of the increasingly digital, data-driven society we live in. This course aims to help students think critically and ethically about the role of technology and data in everyday life.



Professor of Record

Jennifer Stromer-Galley


Undergraduate students.

Learning Objectives

After taking this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analytically interpret and engage with the current and future philosophical implications of digital data on society
  2. Critique various Internet-enabled technologies and their data in relation to their social impact - both negative and positive - across various domains of social life
  3. Identify the ethical, moral and legal implications of digital data on society
  4. Understand how history and our values have led to the current manifestations of digital data in society
  5. Have a sense of how people, democratic processes, and citizenship can affect the impact of digital data on society

Course Syllabi

IST 343 Spring 2021 Syllabus - Jennifer Stromer-Galley

IST 343 Spring 2021 Syllabus - Bryan Semaan

IST 343 Fall 2021 Syllabus- Alexander Smith

IST 343 Fall 2021 Syllabus - Subhasree Sengupta

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