Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Digital Inclusion and Data Profiling

From the abstract: "In the United States, digital inclusion policies designed to introduce poor people, communities of color, indigenous, and migrants (collectively, “chronically underserved communities” or “the underserved”) to the economic, social, and political benefits of broadband lie in tension with new practices and techniques of online surveillance. 

While online surveillance activity affects all broadband users, members of chronically underserved communities are potentially more vulnerable to the harmful effects of surveillant technologies. This paper examines specific examples of commercial data profiling against a longer history of low–tech data profiling of chronically underserved communities. It concludes by calling for issues of online privacy and surveillance to punctuate digital inclusion discourse. Until this happens, digital inclusion policies threaten to bring chronically underserved communities into online worlds that, as Gandy (2009) argued, reinforce and exacerbate social exclusion and inequalities." Read more