The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


CASA Working Paper 92


1 March 2005

The ethics of forgetting in an age of pervasive computing

In this paper, we examine the potential of pervasive computing to create widespread sousveillance, that will complement surveillance, through the development of lifelogs; socio-spatial archives that document every action, every event, every conversation, and every material expression of an individual's life.

Examining lifelog projects and artistic critiques of sousveillance we detail the projected mechanics of life-logging and explore their potential implications. We suggest, given that lifelogs have the potential to convert exterior generated oligopticons to an interior panopticon, that an ethics of forgetting needs to be developed and built into the development of life-logging technologies. Rather than seeing forgetting as a weakness or a fallibility we argue that it is an emancipatory process that will free pervasive computing from burdensome and pernicious disciplinary effects.

This working paper is available as a PDF. The file size is 1.8MB.

Authors: Martin Dodge, Rob Kitchin

Publication Date: 1/3/2005

Download working paper No. 92.