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Living with interpersonal data: observability and accountability in the age of pervasive ICT

Goulden, Murray; Tolmie, Peter; Mortier, Richard; Lodge, Tom


Peter Tolmie

Richard Mortier

Tom Lodge


The Internet of Things, alongside existing mobile digital technologies, heralds a world in which pervasive sensing constantly captures data about us. Simultaneous with this technology programme are moves by policymakers to shore up the digital economy through the legislating of new trust-building models of data management. These moves seek to give individuals control and oversight of their personal data. Within shared settings, the consequences of these changes are the large-scale generation of interpersonal data generated by and acting on the group rather than individual. We consider how such systems create new forms of observability and hence accountability among members of the home, and draw on the work of Simmel and Goffman to explore how these demands are managed. Such management mitigates the more extreme possibilities for domestic monitoring posited by these systems, yet without careful design there remains a considerable danger of unanticipated negative consequences.


Goulden, M., Tolmie, P., Mortier, R., & Lodge, T. (in press). Living with interpersonal data: observability and accountability in the age of pervasive ICT. New Media and Society,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 25, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 28, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2017
Publicly Available Date Oct 3, 2017
Journal New Media & Society
Print ISSN 1461-4448
Electronic ISSN 1461-7315
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Accountability, data, digital, Internet of Things, interpersonal data, policy, privacy, smart home, surveillance
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