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Intimate Surveillance: Collecting People as Data

Wed, September 4, 9:45 to 11:15am, Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, Floor: Five, Grand Ballroom D

Abstract

The reach of technologies has extended possibilities for surveillance of intimate contexts, information gathering, and data analysis. While surveillance of people is not new, surveillance technologies have increasingly become more intimate -- data collection extends into homes, further around bodies, and inscribes possibilities for life or death through the correlated information gathering of big data.
This panel explores intimate surveillance as a form of collecting people as data, with implications for privacy, citizenship, and identity. Papers in this session explore a range of intimate contexts, including: virtual assistants as surveillance technologies of the home; the intimacies of biometric data as citizenship; and the surveillance of transgender people’s online embodiment as a form of risk-deterrence. These sessions connect surveillance technologies by looking at intimacy as a space where data is collected. Intimacy is co-opted through information gathering in ways that police gender, race, and citizenship, collecting people as data. This panel contributes to STS perspectives on surveillance technologies, offering alternate ways to theorize intimate data collecting as extensions of racial and gendered projects.

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