The definitive buzzword of the internet age, ‘data’ comes with much baggage. Laws and regulation reckoning with data are being crafted to deal predominantly with frameworks of data protection. However, much more is at stake when it comes to data: governance by data raises questions of discrimination; mass surveillance by the State is fundamentally altering a fragile democracy; ‘data-driven’ decision making has been revealed to flatten cultural eccentricities and diversity. We explore this cluster of issues in this section.
Surveillance is frequently understood as aiming to monitor people’s behaviour: to see what they are doing now or have done in the past. But there is a second dimension to surveillance: it also shapes our behaviour going forward. What can a gender perspective on both these dimensions of surveillance teach us about the multiple harms of surveillance? And how can this understanding in turn deepen our efforts to fight surveillance’s multiple harms?
Privacy and data protection have been the most popular responses – in law and regulation as well as in popular understanding – to issues of surveillance and dataveillance. In this section, we investigate the substance of these frameworks, their contours and limitations as well as their usefulness.