This chapter argues that tracking involves an increasingly significant and diverse set of techniques in relation to the ongoing transformation of relations between observer and observed, and between observers. These developments include not only the proliferation of individual sensing devices associated with a growing variety of platforms, but also the emergence of new data infrastructures that pool, scale, and link data in ways that promote their repurposing. By means of examples ranging from genes and currencies to social media and the disappearance of an airplane, it is suggested that practices of tracking are creating new public-private distinctions in the dynamic problem space resulting from the analytics that pattern these data. These new distinctions are linked to changing forms of personhood and changing relations between market and state, economy and society.
Composition, observation theory, biosensing, tracking, feedback loops, public-private
Day, Sophie E. and Lury, Celia ‘Biosensing: Tracking Persons’. In Quantified: Biosensing Technologies in Everyday Life, edited by Dawn Nafus, 43-66. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262034173.003.0003