Researching the Mexico-US border: A tale of dataveillance

MENESES GUTIERREZ, Mabel (2023). Researching the Mexico-US border: A tale of dataveillance. Journal of Global Ethics.

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The Mexico-U.S. border is a space considered `smart´ due to the amount of surveillance technology used for national security purposes. The technological ecology consists of integrated fixed towers, remote video surveillance systems, mobile video surveillance systems, Predator B surveillance drones, mobile X-ray units, automated license plate readers, cell phone tracking towers, implanted motion sensors, biometric data collection, and DNA sampling (Aizeki et al. Citation2021). Whilst these instruments are usually linked to irregular border crossers, transborder commuters, who physically cross the border every day, also experience the same surveillance regime. This paper discusses the technological ‘self-defense’ protocol I developed in 2019 when conducting transborder research for my doctoral thesis, which required intense border crossings across Mexico and the U.S. During the ten months of fieldwork, U.S. CBP had the capacity to search my personal device and belongings without a warrant, raising ethical concerns about data protection. As a result, the protocol developed to protect data and participants considered the ‘smart’ border as part of the methods designed that included encrypting information. In hyper-surveilled spaces, data protection represents a challenge for border researchers and the people involved in such a project.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1606 Political Science; 2201 Applied Ethics; 4408 Political science; 5001 Applied ethics
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2024 14:34
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2024 14:45

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