Sunday, August 20, 2006

A long gestating paper is inching closer to publication, the revised version having been accepted for publication in Environment and Planning B on Friday. The paper is titled: 'Outlines of a world coming in existence': Pervasive computing and the ethics of forgetting. It is co-authored with Rob Kitchin.

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.


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