2008-09-16 Identity Theft

Protecting the Data Double: A case study of Identity Theft

Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Time: 7-9 pm
Location: The Code Factory (http://www.thecodefactory.ca/)


This paper analyses how major institutions are publicly responding to the crime of identity theft. It concentrates on how individuals are encouraged to responsibilize themselves against this potentiality, and what they should do in the event they are victimized. These two distinct discourses (prevention and victimization) aim to fashion hyper-vigilant citizen whose daily routines, home environment, consumption patterns and sense of self is being brought into accord with wider power dynamics. These measures can be understood as encouraging a care of the virtual self – a wider social project characteristic of an informational age that encourages individuals to reduce the risks and maximize the potentialities related to their data double. In the context of identity theft, however, institutionally promoted methods for the care for the virtual self transcend what is reasonably practicable for most citizens and mask the role played by major institutions in fostering the preconditions for identity theft.


Jennifer Whitson is a PhD student at Carleton University in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She holds a Canada Graduate Scholarship and has several publications in the fields of sociology, game studies, and criminology. Her current research interests include law and governance in on-line domains, communications technologies and identity theft, and online gaming. She is presently seeking research sites for a study on how software developers, particularly game companies, deal with 1) emergent and 2) potentially undesirable behaviour.

When and Where:

This event will take place on Tuesday September 16, 7-9 pm at The Code Factory, located at 246 Queen Street, between Bank and Kent, (on the second floor) above the Green Papaya Restaurant.

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Street parking is available at no cost after 6 pm.