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Intersecting Intelligence: An Exploration of Big Data Disruptions

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Publication date21/08/2017
Host publicationBig Data, Surveillance and Crisis Management: The Dark Side of Big Data
EditorsKees Boersma, Chiara Fonio
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)9781138195431
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This chapter explores ambiguous forms of emergent practices around big data use for crises in order to produce a set of questions and uncover a range of issues that might enable “better” ways of working with big data. Combining big data with crisis situations frames complex socio-political problems such as the refugee crisis that is current at the time of writing as problems of intelligence and information/data. By focusing on crisis it becomes possible to see how questions around data use need to shift from asking what is in the data to include discussion of how the data is structured and how this structure codifies value systems and social practices, subject positions and forms of visibility and invisibility – and thus forms of surveillance, and the very ideas of crisis, risk governance and preparedness. At the same time, Big data could be a technology for collaboration in relation to the complex causes and consequences of disasters, heightening awareness of vulnerabilities and capacities for response, and fostering consideration of the distribution of risks. Moreover, by highlighting fault lines of injustice before disaster strikes, risk governance augmented by big data could raise hopes for the development of communities of risk (Beck, 1999) and a more relational ethics of risk (Büscher et al. 2017), where ‘it would not take a hurricane to make visible the plight of the poor’ (Jasanoff 2007, 33) or a refugee crisis to highlight a need for integrated European and global responses to displacement.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Big Data, Surveillance and Crisis Management on 18/08/2017, available online: http://www.routledge.com/9781138195431