The socio-genesis of a guild of “digital technologies” justifying transnational interoperable databases in the name of security

This communication wants to show that the digitization of control in the European Union which is happening with the interoperability proposals of the EU commission and the trialogue with the Council and the European Parliament needs to be questioned by addressing the root causes which have transformed digitized technologies of data base management into “solutions” for trans-border control activities and preventive-predictive logics. Even if interoperability has been presented as a response to terrorism in Paris and Brussels and Nice of 2015-16-17, as well as a solution to the so-called refugee crisis due allegedly to a lack of control of freedom of movement inside the area and a lack of surveillance of who is entering and exiting, it is recognizable that these digital technologies for security purposes are the result of a move from “integrated border management” to “integrated data management’.  This importance of datafication for control and surveillance in security and trans-border activities has been presented as a natural answer from new threats: terrorism of Daech, transnational crime, migration and refugee arrivals, and more generally surveillance of anomalies in the patterns of travelers. Critiques have certainly be addressed regarding the side effects of a culture of surveillance and the impact on privacy, but they have often accepted that digitization was beneficial in itself and that interoperability was welcoming. I want to challenge this vision of a neutral improvement of technologies by showing that it introduces de facto new “players” in the (in)security field in Europe who have their own politics, connected with their own visions of the world order, their own interests, and specific habitus or dispositions different from the military, the police or the border guards.

Departmental Seminar Series Hilary 2019

Lecture Theatre, 64 Banbury Road

3.15pm, Fridays (Weeks 1-8)

Convened by Elizabeth Ewart and Javier lezaun