Episode #8 – Karen Levy on the Rise of Intimate Surveillance

NYUSchoolOfLaw-KarenLevy-6-682x1024This is the eighth episode in the Algocracy and Transhumanism podcast. In this episode, I talk to Karen Levy about the topic of intimate surveillance. Karen is an assistant professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University, and associate member of the faculty of Cornell Law School. Tracking and surveillance are now ubiquitous. We track the number of steps we take per day, the number of calories we consume, the number of likes we get on our facebook posts and much more. Governments and corporations also track information about what we like, what we buy and what we do. What happens when we use the same technology to track and surveil aspects of our intimate relationships? That’s what we discuss in this podcast.

You can listen below or download at the following link. You can also subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes (via RSS feed – just click ‘add to iTunes’).

Show Notes

  • 0:00 – 1:40 – Introduction
  • 1:40 – 4:58 – What is intimate surveillance?
  • 4:58 – 6:50 – Intimate surveillance in the lifecycle of a relationship
  • 6:50 – 8:15 – What’s new about intimate surveillance? Haven’t we always been doing it?
  • 8:15 – 24:44 – What kinds of apps are out there that facilitate intimate surveillance? (Apps for finding, connecting and committing)
  • 24:44 – 26:30 – What’s good about intimate surveillance?
  • 26:30 – 29:30 – Do intimate surveillance apps get us to focus on the wrong thing?
  • 29:30 – 34:10 – Gender bias and gender stereotypes
  • 34:10 – 38:50 – Consent apps and the problem of technological solutionism
  • 38:50 – 46:15 – Do these apps encourage an exchange-based approach to intimate relationships? Is this a bad thing?
  • 46:15 – 51:15 – Potential privacy harms in intimate surveillance
  • 51:15 – End – Big data and the ethics of technological experimentation


Relevant Links





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