THE POLITICS OF DATA IN A QUANTIFIED SOCIETY
While privacy and surveillance remain at the forefront of critical discussions around data collection, these discussions are happening in silo's with very narrow narratives. There is much more at stake. Information hierarchies are the basis for new social norms that privilege a logic of all that is quantifiable and collectible. There is a „collect it all“ strategy driving the business models of companies and institutions that is creating an information asymmetry between the data subjects and data holders. This forges the way for extended public private partnerships and therefore new power dynamics. This „obsessive collection“ of data manifests itself in unusual ways from the micro to the macro: mattresses that collect data on our body temperature and sleep movements, mobile flash light apps that collect our location data, algorithms that predict the next generation of criminals and monitor the telephone communications of entire countries. This raises fundamental questions about living in a quantified society. Who owns this data? How it is is traded? aggregated and stored? Who makes the decisions and how? Now that we are loosing the distinction between on-line and off-line life, how are relationships between ourselves and others changing? And ultimately how does this change our societies?
In the last two years the public debate around privacy and surveillance has been consumed with a few fundamental questions and restricted framings of the problem. To enrich the debate and the implication of the data society, Tactical Technology Collective has moved beyond the dominant discourses of Foucault's panopticon, the imagery of video surveillance and critical reflections on the NSA and the Stasi. This work lifts the lid on broader questions of data brokering and trade, the current relationship between public and private entities and the role we each play as consumers and citizens. Despite growing media coverage around this issues, the public debate is centered on a few questions that have restricted and halted public engagement, however individuals are left with some basic questions: Why should I care? What difference does it make to me?
In this 30 minute illustrated talk Marek Tuszynski will explore how the private and public partnerships have brought the technological infrastructures that make all of this a part of the everyday.
Speakers: Stephanie Hankey (UK), Marek Tuszynski (PL)
23. Oct. 2015 at Forum Stadtpark, Graz