Big data surveillance: a call for papers

The journal Surveillance and Society have a call for papers for a special issue on Big Data Surveillance. It is to be edited by Mark Andrejevic and Kelly Gates. It looks like it will make a really important contribution to the current debates about ‘big data’. Here is an excerpt describing the issue:

In a wide range of industries and domains – marketing, finance, health care, policing, security and intelligence, to name a few – massive data collection efforts and the development of new techniques of data mining and analysis have become top priorities. The development of the capacity to collect, store, and process data of all kinds on an unprecedented scale has broad-ranging economic, political, and cultural implications, and poses new challenges for the study of surveillance and monitoring practices in the digital era. This issue will explore the impact of so-called “big data” – rapidly expanding and interlinked data sets and the tools for analyzing them – on the practices, technologies, and regulation of surveillance. The notion of “Big Data” addresses the intersection of information driven control imperatives in a wide array of institutions and the techniques used for acquiring, mining and analyzing data. This emerging formation has important consequences for contemporary surveillance practices and our understanding of how they operate. The issue will also consider how current and forthcoming forms of data-fueled monitoring rearrange and intensify surveillance imperatives and reconfigure the practices of control, guidance, and risk-management with which they are associated. In addition to contributions that explore the social, political, and cultural impacts of big data on surveillance practices, we invite contributions that develop historical, ethical-critical approaches to such practices. This will mean considering not just what is “new” about the relations between surveillance and the database in the “big data” era, but also what historical tendencies and practices are conserved and what are the attendant implications. We are also interested in contributions that develop surveillance theory and that unearth emerging trends in database surveillance and the practices of data mining and predictive analytics with which these are associated.

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