David Lyon (CAN/UK)
Surveillence, Security and Social Sorting in the City

Twenty-first century cities rely on the order-creating capacities of digital technologies to classify, sort, and to manage social outcomes across of range of sectors. Using personal data, techniques derived from military, administrative, employment, policing and consumer practices combine to create a complex matrix of power; a surveillance assemblage. Community life-chances and personal choices are increasingly affected by the assemblage, which too often serves to reinforce already existing divisions. This is not the result of the 9/11 aftermath, although the ‘war on terror’ has contributed to the further digitizing and globalizing of surveillance. Nor can it be understood as a simple extension of, for example, class or bureaucratic power, even though these are still significant. It is a peculiarly ambiguous process in which digital technologies and personal data are fundamentally implicated in ways that carry both deep dangers for democracy – especially as biometric, location and genomic techniques proliferate – and potential for democratic involvement, ethical critique and alternative practices.

Source: http://world-information.org/wio/program/events/1131360053/1131360303/1131368564