Mobile Apps and Sensors in Surveys

2023 workshop latest information


22-23 June 2023


University of Manchester, UK (on-location only)

Organizing committee

Alexandru Cernat (University of Manchester), Bella Struminskaya, Peter Lugtig (Utrecht University), Florian Keusch (University of Mannheim), Jan Karem Höhne (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Context of the workshop

Augmenting survey data with data collected from mobile apps, sensors, and wearables allows researchers to better explore and understand social reality, further develop research methods, and scale laboratory experiments. The number of studies that utilize the features built into smartphones and other wearable devices to study human behavior and interaction has grown in recent years. Passive mobile data collection using sensors allows researchers to collect data at a rate and detail that is not possible with traditional survey methods. However, incorporating sensor measurements to augment or replace survey questions through sensors and apps creates methodological challenges around representativeness, survey design and implementation, measurement, as well as ethical and legal considerations that are yet to be understood.

This 2-day workshop is jointly organized by researchers from the Social Statistics department at the University of Manchester, the Department of Methodology and Statistics at Utrecht University, the Professorship for Social Data Science and Methodology at the University of Mannheim, and the german Center for Higher Education research and Science Studies, University of Hannover. This year the workshop is supported by the Hallsworth Conference fund at the University of Manchester. The workshop is free of charge for participants, but participants are expected to cover their own travel and lodging costs.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers from different disciplines to discuss the current state of their research on the use of mobile apps, sensors, and wearables in survey data collection. The workshop is only open to participants whose abstracts will be accepted for a paper presentation.



The provisional programme of the workshop can be found under Programme of the 4th MASS workshop

We are happy to announce two keynote speakers at MASS23:

1. Kathleen Cagney

Kathleen Cagney was named the Director of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research effective September 1, 2021. Professor Cagney’s work examines social inequality and its relationship to health with a focus on neighborhood, race, and aging, and the life course. She has developed a series of papers on neighborhood social capital and its relationship to outcomes such as self-rated health, asthma prevalence, physical activity, and mortality during the 1995 Chicago heatwave. She also focuses on the validity of such measures and the development of new neighborhood-based metrics that reflect the perceptions and experiences of older residents. She holds research professorships in ISR’s Survey Research Center and Population Studies Center.

2. Helen Nissenbaum

Helen Nissenbaum is a professor of Information Science and founding director of the Digital Life Initiative at Cornell Tech, NYC. Her work on ethical and political dimensions of digital technologies spans issues of privacy, bias, trust online, design, and accountability in computational and algorithmic systems. Prof. Nissenbaum’s publications, which include the books, Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest, with Finn Brunton (MIT Press, 2015), Values at Play in Digital Games, with Mary Flanagan (MIT Press, 2014), and Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life (Stanford, 2010), have been translated into seven languages, including Polish, Chinese, and Portuguese. Recipient of the 2014 Barwise Prize of the American Philosophical Association and the IACAP Covey Award for computing, ethics, and philosophy, Prof. Nissenbaum has contributed to privacy-enhancing free software, TrackMeNot (against profiling of Web search histories) and AdNauseam (against profiling based on ad clicks). She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University and a B.A. (Hons) in Philosophy and Mathematics from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Prior to joining Cornell Tech, she directed NYU’s Information Law Institute.


  • 28 February 2023: Deadline for abstract submission (closed)
  • 31 March 2023: Feedback on acceptance will be provided.
  • 7 June 2023: Deadline for handout submission – all participants will be required to submit a 6-page handout presenting context, screenshots, tables, or other supporting materials for the workshop. All participants are expected to read all handouts before coming to the workshop.
  • 22-23 June 2023: MASS Workshop