Part or chapter of a book
Data politics - introduction
data, politics, international political sociology
Data has become a social and political issue not only because it concerns anyone who is connected to the Internet but also because it reconfigures relationships between states, subjects, and citizens. Just about every device is now connected to the Internet and generating vast quantities of digital traces about interactions, transactions and movements whether users are aware or not. What started as an ostensibly liberated space rapidly became the space over and through which governments and corporations began collecting, storing, retrieving, analysing, and producing data that analyses what people do and say on the Internet. This ranges from who communicates with whom, who goes where, and who says what – and much more besides. This is now being augmented with data that people produce about themselves, especially their relations, body movements and measurements; the amount and range of data that has become available is, as everyone now knows, staggering. This chapter introduces the main themes of the book to position these developments within a broad historical-sociological perspective and to articulate an international political sociology of data politics.