Thursday, 20 February 2020

Panel on "Smart City Surveillance" at SSN 2020

I am happy about the acceptance of our "Smart City Surveillance" panel at the Surveillance Studies Network Conference in Rotterdam. I will join Sage Cammers-Goodwin, Maša Galič, Mark Ryan, Karin Pfeffer, and Fenna Hoefsloot. The session has been organised and will be chaired by Tjerk T. Timan. Sage Cammers-Goodwin and I will present some of our findings from the BRIDE project.

Here's the abstract:

In many Western city centers, we are witnessing an increase of smart city and living lab infrastructure that is promising innovation in security and profitability. While securing cities and its citizens against external attacks or internal dangers is nothing new, current smart-city logics – often in the form of public-private partnerships – are delivering a complex landscape of purposes for novel and often highly invasive surveillance technologies. Combining privately-generated data (e.g. social media or personal walking patterns), ‘environmental’ data (e.g. crowdedness and weather conditions) and hard-factual statistics (e.g. crime rates, trash collection or beer consumption), profiles on atmosphere, persons’ moods and pre-conflict situational awareness are being generated. The next step in such often experimental initiatives is to package such projects as wholesale security solutions.

Main theme:
In this panel we want to explore, on the basis of a large body of theory in geography, philosophy of technology, surveillance studies and law, what the current practices out there are, and how to analyse such experiments. In other words, what can we say, learn and do about such urban surveillance infrastructural developments, and how can we expand the body of knowledge stemming from these cases?