The Life of Mobile Data: Technology, Mobility and Data Subjectivity

April 15 16, 2004
University of Surrey, England

The rapid adoption and diffusion of mobile devices over the past decade has
transformed the way information is generated, organized and communicated
about individuals and their lives. The construction of new mobile data
profiles and of mobile, informatic selves, hold the potential to transform
what is organizationally and interpersonally meant by privacy,
individuality, community, risk, trust, and reciprocity in a mobilizing, and
globalizing world.

In order to examine these transformations, the RIS:OME project at the
University of Surrey is hosting an international, interdisciplinary
conference to address emerging social and cultural relations of mobility,
privacy, identity, information and communication. This conference will
bring together academic, industry and policy researchers and practitioners
to critically address how mobile information and communications
technologies structure relations of privacy, security, trust, power,
identity and difference.

There are a number of questions that inform the themes of the conference.
In what ways, for example, do mobiles reconfigure the relations of trust,
risk, privacy and reciprocity embedded in organizational and interpersonal
data sharing? In what ways do mobiles contribute to the construction of
identity and of the 'information self'? What is the relationship between
mobile data and the individual? Who owns and controls the emerging,
individualized mobile data image? What roles do consumption and consumerism
play in the social relations of privacy, trust and security? Is the
development of mobile technologies associated with emerging relations of
risk, uncertainty and privatisation?

What social, cultural and regulatory factors have influenced the generation
of mobile data in different countries? How do these factors influence
culturally specific understandings and practices of globalized and
transnational privacy, risk and trust? Are regimes of information sharing
and data protection patterned along axes of development and
underdevelopment? What roles do national differences and political
economies play in the construction of emerging mobile data relations? How
are politics reconfigured within and between countries via mobile data
technologies and changing mobilities?

What critical approaches can be brought to bear on our understanding of
diversity, difference and resistance in the generation of mobile data? How
can we account for the rapid uptake of mobile devices, and the development
of mobile data sharing, both now and in the future?

We seek to bring critical perspectives to bear on the development and
widespread uptake of mobile technologies and developments in information
sharing and data profiling over the last decade. The conference organizers
thus invite papers presenting empirically grounded and theoretically
informed analyses of the social changes that mobile technologies and their
data relations have brought about. Suggested themes could include, but are
by no means limited to:

– risk, trust and power in mobile information ownership, control, access
and management

– culturally specific patterns of informational trust and privacy

– organizational structuring of mobile information paradigms

– data subjectivity and the construction of identity through mobile

– mobile communications and emerging regulatory environments

– privacy enhancing technologies, their problems, paradoxes and

– privacy advocacy in the mobile environment

– organizational and interpersonal information sharing

– the lifecycle of mobile personal data: its generation, integration,
profiling and mining

– mobile surveillance, security and globalization

– mobile data protection, data subjectivity and knowledge

– information gathering and social memory

Papers and panels are invited that address the conference themes.
Submission of Abstracts: 500 to 700 words, 31st Oct 2003
Notification of acceptance of papers: 15th Dec 2003
Registration Deadline: 30th Jan 2004

With the support of Intel Corporation, and the Department of Sociology at
the University of Surrey.
Paper length: 20 minutes. Panel presentations encouraged.