07 August 2014

Fourth Amendment and Participatory Privacy

'Two More Ways Not to Think About Privacy and the Fourth Amendment' by David Alan Sklansky in (forthcoming) University of Chicago Law Review
challenges two increasingly common ideas about privacy and the Fourth Amendment. The first is that any protections needed against government infringements of privacy in the Information Age are best developed outside of the courts and outside of constitutional law. The second is that the various puzzles encountered when thinking about privacy and the Fourth Amendment can be solved or circumvented through some kind of invocation of the past: either a focus on the text of the Fourth Amendment, or the study of its history, or an effort to preserve the amount privacy that used to exist, either when the Fourth Amendment was adopted or at some later point.
'The Surveillance-Innovation Complex: The Irony of the Participatory Turn' by Julie E. Cohen in Darin Barney, Gabriella Coleman, Christine Ross, Jonathan Sterne and Tamar Tembeck (eds), The Participatory Condition (University of Minnesota Press, 2015, Forthcoming) comments
Over the last several decades, surveillance has become increasingly privatized and commercialized and increasingly participatory. This shift has challenged established habits of conceptualizing surveillance as discipline and control. Surveillance theorists have responded by turning to theories of networked flow, mass-mediated commodification, and performance to help explain the social, political, and psychological effects of surveillance. This chapter steps into that discussion, arguing that the effects of the participatory turn in surveillance are even more fundamental, and concern the extent to which we understand surveillance as itself subject to regulation. The rhetorics of participation and innovation that characterize the participatory turn work to position surveillance as an activity exempted from legal and social control. The resulting model of surveillance is light, politically nimble, and relatively impervious to regulatory constraint. Commentators have long noted the existence of a surveillance-industrial complex: a symbiotic relationship between state surveillance and private-sector producers of surveillance technologies. The emerging surveillance-innovation complex represents a new, politically opportunistic phase of this symbiosis, one that casts surveillance in an unambiguously progressive light and repositions it as a modality of economic growth.