SSC Seminar Series: Adam Molnar (Lecturer in Criminology, Deakin University, Australia)

Intimate Surveillance, Institutionalizing Control: Researching stalkerware as an apparatus of socio-technical control

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

12:30 – 2:00 pm

Mackintosh Corry Hall D411


Consumer spyware is a tool that facilitates covert tracking, interception, and remote access of an individual’s geo-locational information, communications (including emails, texts, social media activities, and keystroke logging) or a device’s microphone and cameras, including stored images or videos. Spyware is available to mainstream consumer audiences to facilitate ‘lateral’ surveillance in intimate partnerships, parent-child relationships, and workplaces. Drawing on a project that weaves together social, technical, and legal methods of inquiry, this seminar provides insight into how spyware manifests as a form of socio-technical authoritarian control. This apparatus of control includes the commodification of mobile device surveillance in everyday life, discrete ways that socio-technical design re-inscribes relations of domination, and a wider socio-legal apparatus that governs the use of powerful mobile device surveillance technologies. Together, these characteristics raise important questions for understanding how gendered forms of technology-facilitated violence are conditioned through a broad socio-technical apparatus of control.

About the Speaker:

Adam Molnar is a Lecturer in Criminology at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia. Currently, Dr Molnar is Visiting Professor at the Citizen Lab, in the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto. His work focuses on the intersection between technology, law, and governance with a particular focus on surveillance, privacy, and social control.

Everyone welcome!