Archive for the 'Member Activities' Category

Special Issue: Fichage et Listing

The latest issue of the journal Cultures & Conflits (76) has just been published. Edited by IdentiNet participants Dider Bigo and Pierre Piazza, and featuring a contribution from IdentiNet participant Ilsen About, the issue explores ‘Fichage et Listing’, and contains French-language articles on the transnational traffic in personal data, the control of mobility, and the challenges of achieving a balance between public safety and civil liberties. Abstracts (free) and articles can be accessed online via the journal website.

Projet Bertillon Launches

Projet Bertillon has recently launched. Coordinated by IdentiNet participants Ilsen About and Pierre Piazza, and hosted by Criminocorpus, this valuable online resource offers a comprehensive overview of the life and work of Alphonse Bertillon (1853-1914), a pioneer of forensic identification methods at the Paris Prefecture de Police whose criminological expertise ranged from mug shots, anthropometry, and dactyloscopy through file management and the analysis of crime scenes. The site, which is available in both English and French, contains innovative online galleries of Bertillon-related imagery as well as academic resources such as biographies, bibliographies, and links, and is also inviting the submission of new articles on Bertillon for online publication in 2011. For further information, please visit Projet Bertillon.

Seminar: Foucault, Databases, and the Dispositif

The first ‘brown bag lunch’ IPS discussion seminar will take place at King’s College London on Thursday 28 January 2010. Co-organised by IdentiNet participant Didier Bigo, discussion will be introduced by a presentation from Andrea Molteni (University of Milan) on the functioning of the concept of the dispositif within the work of Michel Foucault, which will go on to consider its relevance to the analysis of DNA databases, especially within the Italian context (a full abstract is available here). Wine will be provided, and participants are encouraged to bring along their own sandwiches. The seminar will take place from 12.30pm2.30pm in the War Studies meeting room, which is on the sixth floor of the King’s Building on Strand Campus (map). If you wish to attend, please confirm with Picture: Flickr/dullhunk (CC)

Surveillance Studies Centre Launches

The Surveillance Project, the interdisciplinary, international research initiative based in the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University under the direction of IdentiNet member David Lyon, relaunched today as the Surveillance Studies Centre. The SSC will both expand the existing research programme (in particular The New Transparency Project) and serve as a platform for new funding applications. It will also ‘advance the surveillance studies field by way of workshops, lectures and seminars, empirical work, publishing, community outreach, liaising with policy and activist groups, and student training’. For full details, see the new centre website.

The Identity Project

The Identity Project, a nine-month season of activity from the Wellcome Trust, is currently underway in London and elsewhere. The Trust supports a large amount of research into genetics (including the Human Genome Project), and the season is intended to explore ‘scientific and social perspectives of identity – historic and contemporary – to encourage debate and discussion and to ask how well we will ever be able to know ourselves’. The season includes an exhibition entitled Identity: Eight Rooms, Nine Lives, as well as several other events throughout the UK, including a workshop on 23 January 2010 on Secret Lives, which will feature a contribution from IdentiNet lead investigator Professor Edward Higgs (University of Essex). For further details, see The Identity Project website.

Special Issue: Security and Data Protection

The French journal Cultures & Conflits has dedicated its summer issue (number 74) to the theme of ‘Security and Data Protection’. Articles explore, amongst other things, the protection of personal data in transatlantic context, enlarging access to European databases and the EU’s strategy against organized crime, and the issue closes with an interview with Armand Mattelart conducted by IdentiNet member Didier Bigo. For further details, see the issue flyer (pdf). Articles (in French) and abstracts (In English) can be found on the journal website.

Member Publication: Identifying Citizens

identifyingcitizensIdentifying Citizens: ID Cards as Surveillance, a new study by IdentiNet member David Lyon, has just been published. The book takes a historical, comparative, and sociological look at citizen-identification, and argues that the proliferation of ID card systems around the world represents a distinctive new phase in the long-term attempts of modern states to find stable ways of identifying citizens. It concludes that the widespread implementation of ID cards is both likely and, without safeguards, troublesome, though not necessarily for the reasons most commonly proposed. For further details and ordering information, see the Polity website.

Special Issue: Traceability and Networks


The French social science journal Hermès has dedicated its April issue (number 53) to the timely theme of ‘Traceability and Networks’. Articles explore the tracking of personal information across a wide range of social and technological contexts, and pay particular attention to the privacy implications of electronic data collection, ‘Web 2.0′ applications and online social networks. IdentiNet member Pierre Piazza has also contributed an article on the expansion of police records in recent decades, and the increased potential for administrative dysfuction and misuse of personal data that this has entailed. An overview of the issue’s contents can be found here (pdf), while detailed abstracts (with English translations) can be found here (pdf). Picture: xtof/flickr (CC)

Britain: The Database State

filingcabinet1A new report on the ‘Database State’ has argued that many of Britain’s public sector databases are inefficient, invasive of privacy and vulnerable to legal challenge. The study was commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust and undertaken by members of the Foundation for Information Policy Research, including IdentiNet member Ross Anderson (Security Engineering, University of Cambridge). The report suggests that 11 of the 46 largest central databases are illegal under human rights or data protection laws (a further 29 are given an ‘amber light’), and makes a range of new recommendations for the collection and management of personal data and the development of government IT systems. Here’s the report and the executive summary, while Ross has also blogged some conclusions at The Guardian‘s Liberty Central. Picture: Chris Campbell/flickr (CC)

CFP: Identity and the Impact of Technology

icon_usersThe Second Multidisciplinary Workshop on Identity in the Information Society (IDIS 09), to be held at the London School of Economics on 9 June 2009, has just issued its final call for papers on the timely theme of ‘Identity and the Impact of Technology’. The workshop will explore ‘the relationship between the ways in which identity and technology have mutually shaped each other’, and will feature a keynote address from IdentiNet lead investigator Edward Higgs (History, University of Essex). For more information visit the conference website; the deadline for the submission of papers is 9 April 2009.

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