The second of two pieces with the Centre for International Governance Innovation – Control Creep explores how data produced for one purpose inevitably spreads to new (mis)uses and relations of control:
“The trouble with thinking about data as personal property, however, is that what our data means for us has little to do with what it can be made to mean for others. Being paid for our data will not empower us if that data is still being recombined into unappealable judgments by cops or bosses.“
We talk about the book’s themes of data, uncertainty and prediction, and what they mean for us in COVID times:
“Messy data becomes a kind of toxic gas that suffocates the public sphere with bad takes. […] In the United States, given the chronic lack of testing, we will never know how many Americans were infected with the virus. And all of these gaps and margins of error become opportunities for speculation.”
Below is a loose collection of COVID surveillance developments around the world. We see tales of unproven, hastily duct-taped contact tracing apps that run headlong into predictable train wrecks in actual use cases; thermal cameras that don’t work; fantasies of drone and robot surveillance; and almost comically harmful renditions of workplace surveillance & exam proctoring.
It is a partial, eclectic collection of whatever I spotted between early March & early May (updates potentially to come), but some folks have found it useful so I am putting it up here. Disclaimer that the notes are often going to be messy & full of my initial, personal views. Any questions / errors / concerns let me know at sun_ha [at] sfu.ca!