Projects

SECURITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE ERA OF BIG DATA AND MASS SURVEILLANCE

This project studies how the processes of datafication and surveillance pressure international security and human rights in the contemporary international system. Mayer-Schönberger & Cukier (2013) defined the first process as the collection of any type of information in order to transform it into quantifiable data for diverse purposes (also known as Big Data). The second process covers the growth of a multiplicity of technological artifacts and practices for observing others, which firms, governments and citizens employ for diverse purposes (Ball, Haggerty, & Lyon, 2012), such as preventing terrorism or increasing citizens´ security.

These trends, which in many cases overlap, are generating profound changes on how state and non-state (firms, citizens, NGOs, etc.) actors interact in the contemporary international system. On the one hand, it is undeniable that datafication and surveillance are key drivers of the increasing global interdependence, and are part of the emerging fourth industrial revolution that the World Economic Forum heralds. On the other hand, these processes are putting under pressure international security and human rights. For example, the ongoing cyberattacks and the practices of mass surveillance have become new global threats that opened new areas of dispute in international politics. Likewise, the expansion of surveillance practices cannot be understood without considering the increasing importance of private military and security companies that design, implement and sell technological artifacts and practices all over the world. These tensions are paving the way for the emergence of assemblages of states (hegemonic vs emergent powers) and non-state (transnational corporations, new NGOs, new political parties, hacking collectives, etc.), who dispute the norms and practices to govern these processes.

In this context, the objective of this project is to contribute to the state-of-the-art by studying the relationship between the processes of datafication and surveillance, and international security and human rights, from a Latin American perspective. Specifically, based on a dialogue between the preexisting academic literature and in-depth case studies, the project aims to answer the following research questions:

  • ¿How can we critically theorize these transnational processes of datafication and surveillance?

  • ¿How do these processes change power relations between the different actors of the contemporary international system concerned with international security and human rights?

  • ¿What are the specificities of these transnational processes in the context of Latin America?

  • ¿What types of public policies can countries with limited statehood implement in order to govern these processes?

Previous:

  • Discourses and niche innovations for development in creative industries in Argentina and Brazil.
  • I participated in this project  “Opening Up Natural Resource-Based Industries for Innovation: Exploring New Pathways for Development in Latin America”. Final reports and other information can be accessed here.