Omnipresence, Invisibility and Classification: The Power and Politics of Making Data Intelligible
The issue of information classification and organization has perhaps never been as relevant as in our current times of “information overload” and internet-mediated access to the vast majority of the information surrounding us. The algorithms embedded in the information and communication technologies we use daily are (also) artefacts of governance, arrangements of power and “politics by other means”(Latour). Examples drawing from the field of Internet services and from recent attempts at “regulation by algorithms” (e.g. the French loi sur le renseignement) will serve as empirical points of entry into a discussion of the power and politics inherent in “making data intelligible” in the era of information pervasiveness, in terms of both institutions’ regulation of algorithms, and algorithms’ regulation of our society.