Mundane Surveillance: Technologies, Data, and the New Regulation of Urban Space

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University invites you to the next talk of our Fall 2021 Colloquium Series.


This event will be held on Zoom. A link will be sent out via email the day before the event. For those who register after 2pm on November 15, a link will be sent out in the registration confirmation email.

Speaker: Debra Mackinnon, University of Windsor

Cities have repeatedly turned toward forms of entrepreneurial urbanism and technological solutionism marketed by the private sector. From Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) to smart cities, each generation of these devices promises to revitalize cities and “improve” their governance. This talk examines the mobility and use of geospatial applications, platforms and smart security initiatives by BIDs in Vancouver, Toronto, New York and London. Focused on their potential to limit accountability, deepen systemic racism and further corporatize service delivery, this research traces and theorizes how these technologies are used to police, account for, render, and manage urban space and populations.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

About the speaker:

Debra Mackinnon is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Windsor, and incoming Assistant Professor at Lakehead University. Her general research areas are in urban studies; socio-legal theory and critical criminology; surveillance studies; science and technology studies; smart cities; and qualitative research methodologies. She also the co-editor on a forthcoming volume Digital (In)Justice in the Smart City with the University of Toronto Press.

The event is finished.


Nov 16 2021


4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

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