Abstract

This essay argues that the language of privacy in the Obama administration’s discussion of big data displaces concern from surveillance to social good and from government in its national security role to government in its economic role. This concern is condensed in the figure of the individual whose privacy is to be protected. That concern with big data is condensed into the individual form gives us insight into communicative capitalism’s enclosure and expropriation of the common via capture and analytics. Access to the flows and relations of sociality, is what big data promises. It delivers on that promise by pulverizing it into and tracing it through the ever more granular movements of the individual.

Additional Information

ISSN
1092-311X
Print ISSN
2572-6633
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-08
Open Access
No
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