Posts by Radhika Radhakrishnan

  • Protecting bodies and rights in disease surveillance during COVID-19 in India — A Policy Brief

    Surveillance is increasing control over bodies of individuals, and the framework of data as a resource is facilitating this control, as illustrated here through the case of COVID-19 in India. Data governance frameworks view data as a disembodied resource, erasing its connections with people’s bodies and making surveillance seem innocuous. A feminist bodies-as-data approach enables embodied harms of surveillance to be pinpointed, and recommendations to be made to alleviate them. Drawing upon research of lived experiences of marginalised communities whose voices are often left out in data protection discourse, this policy brief proposes recommendations preserving not just data privacy, but bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of individuals.   More

    This policy brief was first published by the Data Governance Network.

    Policy Brief

  • भारत में कोविड‑19 के दौरान सम्मिलित सर्विलांस: एक नारीवादी नज़रिया

    एक कश्मीरी मुसलमान सलीम (बदला हुआ नाम) मार्च 2020 की सुबह अपने फ़िक्रमंद रिश्तेदारों की फोन कॉल से जागे, जो बता रहे थे कि उसका नाम और फोन नंबर एक सार्वजनिक सरकारी सूची में छपा है. इस सूची में क़रीब 650 लोगों का ब्योरा था, जो संदिग्ध रूप से उस …   More

  • I took Allah’s name and stepped out”: Bodies, data and embodied experiences of surveillance and control during COVID-19 in India

    This paper presents a study of COVID-19 in India to illustrate how surveillance is increasing control over bodies of individuals, and how the dominant framework of data as a resource is facilitating this control. Disembodied constructions of data erase connections between data and people’s bodies and make surveillance seem innocuous. As a departure from such a framework, this study adopts a feminist bodies-as-data approach to pinpoint the specific, embodied harms of surveillance. Starting from lived experiences of marginalised communities whose voices are often left out in debates on data protection, it shows that surveillance undermines not just data privacy, but more importantly, the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of individuals. This paper was first published by the Data Governance Network.   More

    Research

  • Embodied surveillance during COVID-19 in India: A feminist perspective

    Guidelines on public mobility may be needed to control community transmission. However, when this is carried out in a manner that evokes fear without taking into account the socio-economic contexts and needs of people, then it is not the disease being controlled, but rather the bodies of people through threats of collecting their data. This article was originally published for Observer Research Foundation (ORF) CyFy Edit here. This article draws upon qualitative research carried out for the paper: Radhakrishnan, Radhika. (2020). I took Allah’s name and stepped out”: Bodies, Data and Embodied Experiences of Surveillance and Control during COVID-19. Mumbai, Data Governance Network. https://​www​.datagov​er​nance​.org/. See here for the full paper.   More

  • Call for Inputs: Surveillance and marginalised communities during COVID19

    Have you (or someone you know) been asked to mandatorily download the Aarogya Setu app by your employer, school / university, resident welfare association, or for accessing services such as healthcare? Are you having any difficulties in accessing various tech-based solutions implemented by the government for receiving financial aid? Are drones being used in your locality to enforce the lockdown? Are you or others in your communities facing any kind of stigma or discrimination due to these measures? Are you facing parental or spousal control over access to mobile phones and the Internet during the lockdown? If so, we’re eager to hear from you!   More