Vernacular Resistance to Data Collection and Analysis: A Political Theory

  title={Vernacular Resistance to Data Collection and Analysis: A Political Theory},
  author={Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum},
  booktitle={First Monday},
Computer-enabled data collection, aggregation, and mining dramatically change the nature of contemporary surveillance. Refusal is not a practical option, as data collection is an inherent condition of many essential societal transactions. We present one vernacular response to this regime of everyday surveillance, a tactic we call obfuscation. With a variety of possible motivations, actors engage in obfuscation by producing misleading, false, or ambiguous data with the intention of confusing an… 

Obfuscation and Strict Online Anonymity

  • T. Doyle
  • Computer Science
    Philosophical Studies Series
  • 2019
It is argued that the best hope for protecting privacy online is anonymity through obfuscation, and how individual, rational decisions have led to a surveillance regime that few would have chosen beforehand and the alleged autonomy of information technology are examined.

Privacy, obfuscation, and propertization

  • T. Doyle
  • Computer Science
    IFLA Journal
  • 2018
It is concluded that privacy is a lost cause and that the attempts to defend it from the moral point of view should be called off.

The (Big) Data-security assemblage: Knowledge and critique

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Built to lie: Investigating technologies of deception, surveillance, and control

An analysis of deceptive systems reveals more fundamental problems: imbalances in power and widespread acquiescence to corporate and state efforts to control individuals, groups, and their data.

Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum: Obfuscation: a user’s guide for privacy and protest

  • T. Doyle
  • Computer Science
    Ethics and Information Technology
  • 2016
In her highly influential 2010 book Privacy in Context Helen Nissenbaum confronted the rising threat to privacy posed by information technology and its increased ability to gather, store, analyze, and distribute personal information, presenting a lucid discussion and careful justification of obfuscation in a broad range of cases.

From data politics to the contentious politics of data

This article approaches the paradigm shift of datafication from the perspective of civil society. Looking at how individuals and groups engage with datafication, it complements the notion of “data

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ABSTRACT Today we are confronted with an ever-increasing tactical control of rights to access, use and store data as a shared resource. Control of commons and commoning has never before been this

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A range of strategic information-management options available to individuals and institutions in the networked society are discussed, and these ‘blueprints’ are compared to Foucault’s well-known panopticon model to develop a lexicon for the design, description and critique of socio-technical systems.

The Trap of Tracking: Digital Methods, Surveillance, and the Far Right

Computational methods and network analysis are vital means for understanding how digital platforms are employed by political extremists. Western democracies focused on the security threat of jihadi



Data Mining and the Security-Liberty Debate

Important dimensions of data mining's security benefits require more scrutiny, and the privacy concerns are significantly greater than currently acknowledged.

On Notice: The Trouble with Notice and Consent

It is concluded that even an opt-in regime in online behavioral advertising would lack legitimacy, due to the confusing disconnect between the privacy policies of online publishers and the tracking and targeting third parties with whom they contract.

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Eleven behavioral techniques of neutralization intended to subvert the collection of personal information are discussed: discovery moves, avoidance moves, piggybacking moves, switching moves,

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This chapter tackles a somewhat neglected realm of the information privacy discourse, by directly examining the specific detriments arising from the systematic uses of personal information collected

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  • G. G. Fuster
  • Computer Science
    Ethics and Information Technology
  • 2009
It is suggested that the use of ‘inaccurate’ data can potentially play a useful role to preserve the informational autonomy of the individual, and that any understandings of privacy or personal data protection that would tend to unduly limit such potential should be critically questioned.

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The author will assess the threats and opportunities of autonomic profiling in terms of its impact on individual autonomy and refined discrimination and indicate the extent to which traditional data protection is effective as regards profiling.

Technological Dramas

This article examines the technological construction of political power, as well as resistance to political power, by means of an "ideal-typical" model called a technolog ical drama. In technological

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This paper introduces honeypots and similar sorts of decoys, discusses their historical use in defense of information systems, and describes some of their uses today, and goes into a bit of the theory behind deceptions, discuss their limitations, and put them in the greater context of information protection.

Disinformation: A Taxonomy

The model is derived from Shannon's communications model, but with an intentional “noise source” and an unintended receiver, to illustrate a variety of disinformation techniques.

Toward an Approach to Privacy in Public: Challenges of Information Technology

This article highlights a contemporary privacy problem that falls outside the scope of dominant theoretical approaches and is preliminary work in a larger effort to map out future theoretical directions.