Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

writing, research

An issue paper authored for APC about the gendered, racialised and sexualised politics of big data and surveillance.

Read my APC Issue Paper “Big Data and Sexual surveillance” here.


Surveillance has historically functioned as an oppressive tool to control women’s bodies and is closely related to colonial modes of managing populations. Big data, metadata and the technologies used to collect, store and analyse them are by no means neutral, but come with their own exclusions and biases. This paper highlights the gendered and racialised effects of data practices; outlines the overlap- ping nature of state, commercial and peer surveillance; and maps the challenges and opportunities women and queers encounter on the nexus between data, surveillance, gen- der and sexuality. Vulnerable communities as well as sexual rights activists are at heightened risk of data-driven modes of surveillance. In addition to exposing and addressing algorithmic discriminations, feminist data practices oppose the non-consensual collection of data, amplify participatory data projects that empower women and sexual minorities, and protect the data, privacy and anonymity of activists and the communities they work with.

Big Data and Sexual Surveillance Title