The Politics and Policies of Big Data: Big Data, Big Brother?, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Politics and Policies of Big Data

Big Data, Big Brother?, 1st Edition

Edited by Ann Rudinow Sætnan, Ingrid Schneider, Nicola Green


358 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Big Data, gathered together and re-analysed, can be used to form endless variations of our persons - so-called ‘data doubles’. Whilst never a precise portrayal of who we are, they unarguably contain glimpses of details about us that, when deployed into various routines (such as management, policing and advertising) can affect us in many ways.

How are we to deal with Big Data? When is it beneficial to us? When is it harmful? How might we regulate it? Offering careful and critical analyses, this timely volume aims to broaden well-informed, unprejudiced discourse, focusing on: the tenets of Big Data, the politics of governance and regulation; and Big Data practices, performance and resistance.

An interdisciplinary volume, The Politics of Big Data will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral and senior researchers interested in fields such as Technology, Politics and Surveillance.

Table of Contents

  1. Sætnan, Schneider and Green: The politics of Big Data: Big Data, big brother? Introduction to the volume

Section One) Principles and Paradigms: Questioning the tenets of Big Data

2) Saetnan: The haystack fallacy, or why Big Data provides little security

3) Matzner: Grasping the ethics and politics of algorithms

4) Strauss: Big Data – within the tides of securitisation?

5) Matzner: Surveillance as critical paradigm for Big Data?

Section Two) Big Data Policies: Politics of Governance and Regulation

6) Rieder: Tracing Big Data imaginaries through public policy: The case of the European Commission

7) Pasquale: The automated public sphere

8) Schneider: Bringing the state back in: Big Data-based capitalism, disruption, and novel regulatory approaches in Europe

9) Simões and Jerónimo: Rear window - transparent citizens versus political participation

10) Tøndel and Sætnan: Fading dots, disappearing lines – Surveillance and Big Data in news media after the Snowden revelations

Section Three) Performance is Political: Big Data Practices, Performance, and Resistance

11) Bellanova and Gonzalez Fuster: No (Big) Data, no fiction? Thinking surveillance with/against Netflix

12) Fleischhack: ‘Data trainings’ in German schools – Learning empowerment from hackers

13) Ochs: Self-protection beyond the self: Collective privacy practices in (Big) datascapes

14) Noorman/Wessels/Sveinsdottir/Wyatt: Understanding the ‘open’ in

making research data open: Policy rhetoric and research practice


15) Green: Postscript: Big Data’s methodological challenges

About the Series

Routledge Research in Information Technology and Society

The planet is being transformed by technical change and in particular by the speed of development in information technology. This series brings together the latest research on the social impact of IT and seeks to provide a broad range of case studies and comparative analysis of this phenomena and how it is changing our lives.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General