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The Virus of Surveillance: How the COVID-19 pandemic is fuelling technologies of control

Abstract : While it is too early to provide a definitive analysis of the impact that the COVID-19 health crisis will have on digital state surveillance, this article aims to provide a first assessment. It starts by situating states’ response to the crisis in the longer history of epidemics and their connections to what philosopher Michel Foucault called “regimes of power.” By surveying various surveillance discourses and practices in countries like France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States or Israel in the Spring of 2020, the article identifies three key trends magnified by the crisis, namely, the crystallisation of new public-private assemblages in the management of health data, a shift towards health-based justification regimes for legitimising controversial surveillance and urban policing technologies, as well as mounting human rights threats and oversight failures in a context marked by a “state of health emergency”.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03141309
Contributor : Félix Tréguer <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 15, 2021 - 11:08:36 AM
Last modification on : Friday, February 26, 2021 - 3:29:56 AM

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Félix Tréguer. The Virus of Surveillance: How the COVID-19 pandemic is fuelling technologies of control. Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS), Brill, In press. ⟨halshs-03141309⟩

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