Podcast: Media in Transition 8, “Surveillance: Big Data and Other Watchers”

It is a truth universally acknowledged that digital technologies have immensely enhanced existing means of surveillance by government and corporations and have created powerful new instruments to monitor individual behavior. Do the ramifying systems for observing and recording our routine activities fundamentally threaten our privacy and freedom, as many have argued? In an era of data mining and smart algorithms, is our awareness that we are being monitored, converted to bits and distributed among databases, changing the way we behave as citizens and individuals? Should it do so? Or is this framing of the question too pessimistic, ignoring the fact that many of the world’s data collectors are or claim to be improving our lives by expanded productivity, services tailored to individual users, advances not merely in shopping but in health, education and public safety.

  • Goran Bolin, Sodertorn University (Sweden)
  • Kelly Gates, University of California, San Diego
  • Jose van Dijck, University of Amsterdam
  • Moderator: Ethan Zuckerman, MIT
Andrew Whitacre

About Andrew Whitacre

Andrew directs the communications efforts for CMS/W and its research groups. A native of Washington, D.C., he holds a degree in communication from Wake Forest University, with a minor in humanities, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. This work includes drawing up and executing strategic communications plans, with projects including website design, social media management and training, press outreach, product launches, fundraising campaign support, and event promotions.


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