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VUB Chair in Surveillance Studies Seminar Series Seminar IV: Workplace counter-surveillance: Reconsidering resistance in workplace 4.0 with Kirstie Ball

vrijdag, 19 maart, 2021 - 15:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Faculteit: Recht en Criminologie
Bram Visser
Online event


This seminar explores how surveillant concepts can help draw together accounts of worker control and resistance in Industry 4.0. It draws upon the findings of a systematic review on the extension of workplace surveillance in recent times. Across professions, hierarchies, and organizational boundaries, worker performance, location, behaviour and reputation are now more visible to organizations. Although remote working has caused a spike in this visibility, broader innovation in analytical techniques, wearable devices, the platformisation of work and the cheap availability of worker monitoring apps are contributing to what is seen by many an intensification of workplace surveillance. With research findings scattered across the social sciences, the seminar draws together and theorises this new body of work using a surveillance studies lens.

About the speaker: 

Kirstie joined the University of St Andrews’ School of Management in 2016 having held positions at Aston, Warwick, Birmingham and The Open Universities. She is Professor in Management and co-director and founder of CRISP, the  Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy.  CRISP is a joint research  centre between St Andrews, Edinburgh, Stirling and Essex Universities. She is also Research Fellow at the  Surveillance Studies Centre, Queen's University, Canada and Visiting Professor at the Centre for  Business in Society at Coventry University. 

Over the last 20 years Kirstie’s research has been funded by ESRC, EPSRC, SSHRC (Canada), The Leverhulme Trust, The British Academy and the European Framework Programme. In 2015 she published 'The Private Security State? Surveillance, Consumer Data and the War on Terror', the first empirical study, from an organizational perspective, of private sector involvement in government surveillance regimes. She is also co-editor of a new Routledge book series entitled 'Studies in Surveillance' and edited ‘The Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies’, a key resource for those who teach about surveillance. She has consulted to the UK's Information Commissioner, authoring ‘A Report on the Surveillance Society’ in 2006, which prompted two parliamentary committee enquiries, and its follow up in 2010.

Kirstie co-founded and co-edited the journal Surveillance and Society and the charitable company  Surveillance Studies Network, an educational charity which supports the journal. She has also advised numerous NGOs, research funding bodies and news media organizations about surveillance, privacy and security. She frequently appears in the broadcast and print media and at public events to speak about surveillance as a contemporary social phenomenon.

For all questions related to this seminar, please contact Bram Visser (bram.visser@vub.be).
The flyer of the event can be found by clicking here 


The seminar will take place on 19 March 2021 from 15h00 until 16h30 via Teams. Registration is free but necessary. After registration, you will receive the link to the online seminar. Registration can be done below. Please keep in mind that the seminar will be recorded and made visible on our website afterwards. 


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