Digitized Migrants

Conferences and Workshops

The two Global Compacts on migration have advocated the increased use of digital technologies to enhance the protection, welfare, and development of refugees and migrants. The use of new technologies of surveillance that identify, track, and control the people crossing borders result in the increasing digitalization of borders, migrants, and their management. Biometrics and automated decision-making tools, as well as the surveillance of social media have increasingly become central to migration management technologies.

These border security technologies are not simply technological improvement of existing forms of border control or governance. The militarization and computerization of borders raise important questions about the politics of data, data subjects, biopolitics, (scales of) sovereignty, regulation, and different forms of sovereign, regulatory, and disciplinary power.

We are yet to fully grasp the social implications of this new regime of automated truth registration. Does it create new inequalities and/or reinforce old ones? Is it only a tool of oppression, appropriation and exclusion, or does it offer any opportunity for emancipation? How can we think about agency and solidarity in a digital word?

The keynote lecture was held by Giorgia Donà.