This chapter summarizes the uses of surveillance technologies in migration, border management and humanitarian aid, to explain contemporary capitalism’s mainstream approach to migration and the motivations behind the investments of tech companies.
Given the far-reaching effects of these technologies, it is evident they will soon have consequences for humanity as a whole. Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees have much weaker legal status than those of citizens, and states claim the authority to control those who cross their borders by invoking their sovereign rights. The fields of border and national security are more secretive, face less scrutiny and leak less information, and societies take a less sympathetic approach to migrants and foreigners. This allows tech companies, along with military and financial firms and security bureaucracies, to do as they please on the global stage, and implement the most speculative AI or blockchain projects.
Digital identity projects are related to supporting migrants and refugees and contributing to their financial and social integration. Despite mostly positive approaches (with or without reservations), when digital identity initiatives are evaluated from the perspective of the manifestation of surveillance capitalism in migration management, many examples demonstrate corporate agenda-setting and new hegemonic discourses.
Smart border and digital identity applications do not contradict but complement one another. If the main issue in the use of surveillance technologies in border and migration management is data collection and extraction, smart border applications function, through data analysis, to decide who is allowed to cross the border and, after crossing the border, how far they are allowed to go. A digital identity, on the other hand, is where such data is stored, and thus very valuable for both states and private companies for financial inclusion and tracking purposes.
Surveillance technologies developed in migration and border management can spread to other fields and affect an entire society. Suppose the lie detectors piloted on borders are successful and they meet no significant opposition from society, then we should not be surprised to see lie detectors in workplaces or in police stations in the near future. This, in turn, would mean new mechanisms of oppression in society at large.
When it comes to social issues, advanced statistics can be manipulated in favour of the powerful, with probable options being presented as inevitable or actual. This encourages an approach that perceives such situations as neutral and objective, magnifying the algorithm and obscuring the structural factors. This can cause serious problems in migration and border management.
Big data analysis has exciting potential in migration and border management and humanitarian emergencies. Inferences made from data sets allow us to analyse the basic characteristics and dynamics of mass movements and make predictions about the future.
This chapter discusses how private companies’ dominance over big data analysis should be questioned more vigorously. Companies that collect and analyse data have better capacity than states and UN agencies to monitor and direct ‘transient’ people. Strong legal protections do not exist regarding privacy and consent in many countries on migration routes.
Because of active national and international use of smartphones, social media and mobile banking, companies have become the biggest collectors and analysts of data. As most of these companies rely on the business model of surveillance capitalism, this provides invaluable resources to capitalism for the surveillance, manipulation and steering of people in a given direction.
In addition to discussing the consequences of capitalist policies in migration; this chapter demonstrates how surveillance technologies in this field provide valuable data on the trajectory of capitalism.
A large number of companies and states invest in these fields, but further debate is needed on motivations besides profit maximization, such as how alliances are formed, which actors set the agenda, and how capitalists use the outcomes. This is related to the process by which surveillance technologies provide global capitalism with immense power to reshape and reposition the global proletariat.
At a time when large masses of people move quickly, these technologies make it possible to identify migrants before they even arrive at the border, analyse their data, decide on whether to allow them entry, and closely monitor those allowed in. This process of selection and the interests of capitalism in shaping the labour market constitute the essence of the issue.
Many technological solutions that stand out within migration and border management fall within the scope of the tech product package known as ‘smart borders’. These ‘solutions’ make it possible to control activities beyond physical borders and to detect and prevent migration, through such tools as AI algorithms, drones, facial recognition, biometrics, satellite images, sensors and mobile phone and social media data analyses.
Both the USA and EU have hired private companies to militarize their borders with advanced surveillance technologies. Public funding is not being used to ensure the rights of migrants or to resolve economic and political problems, but to support companies in the development of new and deadly technologies.
The most significant producers of smart border applications are military companies. Those who produce the weapons and bombs that force refugees to flee their countries are the same companies that produce the tools for detecting those people in border areas.
In recent years, UN agencies, global tech corporations, states and humanitarian NGOs have invested in advanced technologies from smart borders to digital identities to manage migratory movements. These are surveillance technologies that have intensified the militarization of borders and became a testing ground for surveillance capitalism.
This book shows how these technologies reproduce structural inequalities and discriminative policies. Korkmaz reveals the way in which they grant extensive powers to states and big tech corporations to control communities.
Unpacking the effects of surveillance capitalism on vulnerable populations, this is a much-needed intervention that will be of interest to readers in a range of fields.
This study investigates the lived experiences of multiple sclerosis family carers during the COVID-19 pandemic and explores the impact of the pandemic on psychological resilience processes using a socioecological framework. Following thematic analysis of interviews, two main findings emerged: first, behavioural vigilance intended to mitigate viral spread eclipsed carers’ needs and deprived them of support resources; and, second, multiple sclerosis carers harboured resilience via practices of gratitude and leveraging interpersonal relationships. Future action is needed to develop public crisis responses that integrate multiple sclerosis carers’ needs, including improved care-continuity models, the alleviation of social isolation and advancements in multifaceted wellness preservation.
It is self-evident that critique lies at the heart of Critical Social Work. Even so, more attention should be given to clarifying the meaning of this form of evaluation, particularly when it is applied in the social sciences and social professions. More precisely, it is necessary to explain the meta-theoretical conceptualisation of critique and, crucially, note its different expressions. Through gaining such clarity, the contention is that Critical Social Work sharpens its appreciation of social injustice and how to tackle it. This article describes and augments one meta-theoretical conception of critique involving a typology delineating interconnected forms of evaluation. The indelible bond between this paradigmatic outline of critique, critical theory and Critical Social Work is subsequently considered, highlighting some possibilities for social transformation. Adopting these precepts, by way of conclusion, leads to a critical cosmopolitan orientation within Critical Social Work, making it relevant to the pressing challenges of today’s world.
This study examines the engagement of knowledge users in knowledge mobilisation (KMb) research on Canadian K-12 teaching and education policy. Research on and around KMb has grown in the decade since this field was first assessed comprehensively. Thus, it is timely to re-evaluate if current knowledge producer-user relationships in KMb research feature the mediating variables or recursive elements promulgated as best practices in KMb research.
A scoping review was conducted to identify the profile of knowledge users, map the engagement of knowledge users, and account for any changes to their roles in the research process since 2008. Twenty-eight relevant studies were identified. Contextual data and frequency of engagement with knowledge users were collected and analysed.
Findings indicate that a diverse group of knowledge users are engaged in KMb research and draws on knowledge from various disciplines. A majority of the studies reported that knowledge users were engaged in at least two stages of their research process, with them most frequently engaged during the search and data collection phase of the research process.
Discussion and conclusion:
There has been an encouraging effort in building iterative producer-user connections with knowledge users being engaged, often repeatedly, across different phases of the research process. This indicates an increasingly collaborative model of soliciting user insights on the development and diffusion of research evidence. The review sets the foundation for potential future research on producer-user engagement and provides insights applicable beyond the Canadian K-12 education system.