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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In a post-Snowden world people tend to be more aware that they are living in times of intensified surveillance and diminishing privacy. There is a widespread assumption that populations are being “watched” and “listened” to by both governments and corporations, and this has been amplified in an era of ubiquitous smartphone ownership. It is argued that the Internet of things, expanding categories of personalized media content, mobile communications in locative social media, apps, and searching all present a range of affordances that complicate and threaten personal privacy. The rise of algorithmic computational processes in the mass scale accumulation of personal data by platform intermediaries requires new responses that must begin with an understanding of the way publics are using mobile devices. A key task is to trace out an account of the implications of digital footprints and the usage of personal data points by governments and corporations for citizens’ and consumers’ everyday lives.

Keywords: privacy, algorithmic accountability, surveillance, capitalism, smartphones

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