During this talk, researcher and curator Rachel O’Dwyer will discuss the new points of control and surveillance emerging from digital platforms and ask what tactics, from anonymity to obfuscation to artistic interventions, currently exist to disrupt data surveillance.
Today there is a widespread push to go cashless. On the one hand the ‘cashless society’ is an aspiration of governments and nation states across the globe who associate cash with terrorism, crime, black market activities and tax evasion. On the other, mobile network operators, Internet service providers and social media platforms are becoming the new banks, moving from controlling the flow of information to controlling the flow of value. Today much of our money rides the rails of information and communications technologies, over computers, tablets, smart phones, wearables and the Internet of things. Airmiles, phone credit, QR codes, personal data, Fitbit units, friend requests, hashtags and hash functions are all becoming currency of a sort. The implications of this shift are not only all sorts of new money and modes of exchange, but also new points of control and surveillance.
Most of our transactions now happen in online spaces where data about what we buy or who we send our money to is automatically registered alongside other data about our identity, location, likes and dislikes and social networks. Data about what you buy and who you transact with, how you behave in your favourite store, what you put in your shopping basket, what you share online and who your friends are, is used to sell products and to advertise services, but more and more it is also used to make crucial decisions about who gets access to credit, who gets a visa, who isconsidered a good citizen or a security threat and even who gets enhanced visibility on a dating site. So what is your money saying about you? How might your spending habits or those of yourfriends affect your credit rating in the future? And what tactics, from cryptocurrencies, to data obfuscation, to plain old cash are available to disrupt transactional data surveillance?
In her talk, Rachel O’Dwyer will speak about the future of money in the age of electronic payments, big data and machine learning and asks what your money is saying about you.