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Event Series Event Series: IPE Data Lunchtime Series

Just Opt Out? Lessons Learned From a Decade of Evasion

May 11, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Abstract: With the rise of techlash, an increasing number of users wish they could just say no to data tracking, surveillance capitalism, and the socially divisive effects of creepy technologies in our daily lives. But can we truly walk away from these systems? And what do we learn when we do? In this talk, Vertesi tells the zany stories and practical tips that emerged from my extreme experiments in living digitally off Big Tech’s grid. Vertesi uncovers the sociological mechanisms that fuel these companies’ effective monetization of our lives and shares the hard-won tools and fresh insights Vertesi developed to help us all disable toxic tech and restore our right to choose.
Bio: Dubbed “Margaret Mead among the Starfleet” in the Times Literary Supplement, Janet Vertesi is an associate professor of Sociology at Princeton University. She has spent fifteen years embedded with NASA’s robotic spacecraft teams as a sociologist of science and technology. Her publications range from the books Shaping Science and Seeing Like a Rover (both University of Chicago Press), edited collections digitalSTS (Princeton Press) and Representation in Scientific Practice Revisited (MIT Press), and top ranked journals and conference proceedings in the fields of the sociology of science and technology, and human-computer and human-robot interaction. Currently co-editor of MIT Press’ Infrastructures series, Vertesi is well known for her “Opt Out Experiments” evading capture in the personal data economy, including a famous obfuscated pregnancy and trip to Disneyland. More at http://janet.vertesi.comand
The meeting will be held in person at PEB 721, on the 7th floor of the UC San Diego Social Sciences Public Engagement Building. Lunch will be served. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options will be available. Kindly RSVP by May 9 at 2 p.m. if you are planning to attend (limited number of seats available!).


May 11, 2023
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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Janet Vertesi


Public Engagement Building (PEB) 721
9625 Scholars Drive North MC 0305
La Jolla, CA 92093 United States
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