Digital Policing and Data Sovereignty


Digital tools and technologies, from biometric systems to big data analytics, have dramatically changed practices and sites of policing and state surveillance in the last decade. These technologies transform how state authorities and the police (as a crucial node in a broader security/knowledge system) classify, govern, and organize bodies and spaces in both virtual and material worlds. This project looks at two distinct, yet overlapping, aspects of this process: 1- the police’s effort to harness these technologies into new regimes of surveillance and monitoring; 2- contestations over data sovereignty, that is, who owns digital data (corporations, users, or the state). Overall, the project unsettles techno-optimistic potentials attached to digital technologies, theorizing the connections between the digital and the political in a global context.

Key publications

Digital Hailing: Social Media and Police Work” (2020). Exertions, Society for the Anthropology of Work, special issue on Police Labor.

“Data Sovereignty? Infrastructures of ‘Digital Transformation’ in Turkey” (In Prep.) Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography (under consideration for a special issue on Platform Dispossession: Situating Infrastructures of Urban Inequality Across Digital and Spatial Formations).