Project Details

Based in the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey , the Intel sponsored RIS:OME project investigates the ownership and control of information in emerging mobile technologies. The rapid uptake and pervasiveness of mobile devices in the western world, and the ongoing development of location-based devices and services, presents a new paradigm for generating and organising information about individuals and their lives. This project asks how this new paradigm is emerging, the ‘risks’ it is likely to present, and what its social effects are likely to be.



Through innovative and ethnographic fieldwork with technology and content developers, network operators, service providers, regulators, users and media, RIS:OME seeks to understand the relationship between the generation, ownership and control of mobile, location-based and personal information about individuals, and socio-cultural understandings of privacy, risk and trust. The social uncertainties in identity, authenticity and reciprocity presented by mobile communications hold the potential to shift relations of trust and privacy between organisations and individuals (and between organisations, and between individuals)



Just what kind of information is generated about individuals through mobile technologies, how much is generated, and what is it used for? Do notions of ‘trust’, ‘risk’ and ‘privacy’ shift with the widespread introduction of location-based and mobile devices and services? Just what are the relative social and cultural powers held by key players? And what are the implications of mobile information relations for social, cultural and community life?