Conference archive

The Life of Mobile Data: Technology, Mobility and Data Subjectivity

April 15 – 16, 2004
University of Surrey, United Kingdom

On the conference schedule most paper abstracts are available.

Keynote speakers:   David Lyon, sociology, Queens University, Ontario
                                     Charles Raab, politics and affiliate of the AHRB Research Centre in                                     
Intellectual Property and Technology, University of Edinburgh
         Simon Davies, informations systems, London School of Economics                                      and Privacy International

The rapid adoption and diffusion of mobile devices over the past decade have altered the way information is generated, organized and communicated about individuals and their lives. The construction of new mobile data profiles, and of mobile, informatic selves, hold the potential to transform what is organizationally and interpersonally meant by privacy, individuality, community, risk, trust, and reciprocity in a mobilizing, and globalizing world.

In order to examine these transformations, the RIS:OME project at the University of Surrey is hosting an international, interdisciplinary conference to address emerging social and cultural relations of mobility, privacy, identity, information and communication. This conference will bring together academic, industry and policy researchers and practitioners to critically address how mobile information and communications technologies structure relations of privacy, security, trust, power, identity and difference.

There are a number of questions that inform the themes of the conference. In what ways, for example, do mobiles reconfigure the relations of trust, risk, privacy and reciprocity embedded in organizational and interpersonal data-sharing? In what ways do mobiles contribute to the construction of identity and of the ‘information self’? What is the relationship between mobile data and the individual? Who owns and controls the emerging, individualized mobile data image? What roles do consumption and consumerism play in the social relations of privacy, trust and security? Is the development of mobile technologies associated with emerging relations of risk, uncertainty and privatisation?

What social, cultural and regulatory factors have influenced the generation of mobile data in different countries? How do these factors influence culturally specific understandings and practices of globalized and transnational privacy, risk and trust? Are regimes of information sharing and data protection patterned along axes of development and underdevelopment? What roles do national differences and political economies play in the construction of emerging mobile data relations? How are politics reconfigured within and between countries via mobile data technologies and changing mobilities?

What critical approaches can be brought to bear on our understanding of diversity, difference and resistance in the generation of mobile data? How can we account for the rapid uptake of mobile devices, and the development of mobile data sharing, both now and in the future?

We seek to bring critical perspectives to bear on the development and widespread uptake of mobile technologies and developments in information sharing and data profiling over the last decade. The conference organizers thus invite papers presenting empirically grounded and theoretically informed analyses of the social changes that mobile technologies and their data relations have brought about. Suggested themes could include, but are by no means limited to:

• risk, trust and power in mobile information ownership, control, access and management
• culturally specific patterns of informational trust and privacy
• organizational structuring of mobile information paradigms
• data subjectivity and the construction of identity through mobile technologies
• mobile communications and emerging regulatory environments
• privacy enhancing technologies, their problems, paradoxes and possibilities
• privacy advocacy in the mobile environment
• organizational and interpersonal information sharing
• the lifecycle of mobile personal data: its generation, integration, profiling and mining
• mobile surveillance, security and globalization
• mobile data protection, data subjectivity and knowledge
• information gathering and social memory

Conference Organisers

Dr. Nicola Green
Dr. Sean Smith

RIS:OME Project
Department of Sociology
University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH
United Kingdom
Phone: +44-1483-689-460
Fax: +44-1483-699-551

With the support of Intel Corporation, and the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey.