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"Outlines of a world coming into existence": Pervasive computing and the ethics of forgetting

Dodge, Martin and Kitchin, Rob (2007) "Outlines of a world coming into existence": Pervasive computing and the ethics of forgetting. Environment and Planning B, 34 (3). pp. 431-445. ISSN 0308-2164

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In this paper we examine the potential of pervasive computing to create widespread sousveillance, that will complement surveillance, through the development of lifelogs; socio-spatial archives that document every action, every event, every conversation, and every material expression of an individual’s life. Reflecting on emerging technologies, life-log projects and artistic critiques of sousveillance we explore the potential social, political and ethical implications of machines that never forget. We suggest, given that life-logs have the potential to convert exterior generated oligopticons to an interior panopticon, that an ethics of forgetting needs to be developed and built into the development of life-logging technologies. Rather than seeing forgetting as a weakness or a fallibility we argue that it is an emancipatory process that will free pervasive computing from burdensome and pernicious disciplinary effects.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Life-logs; pervasive computing; sousveillance; surveillance; ethics of forgetting;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > National Institute for Regional and Spatial analysis, NIRSA
Item ID: 2747
Identification Number: 10.1068/b32041t
Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2011 14:29
Journal or Publication Title: Environment and Planning B
Publisher: Pion
Refereed: No

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