Chelsea Barabas Publishes "Care as (re)capture: Data colonialism and race during times of crisis"


Chelsea Barabas

Chelsea Barabas

via Sage Journals

May 10, 2023


Chelsea Barabas authored the paper "Care as (re)capture: Data colonialism and race during times of crisis," published in May via Sage Journals.  The abstract reads: 

This article examines the role that data-driven technologies play in expanding and reasserting the legitimacy of the US racial state during times of crisis. Specifically, I examine how prison officials used a software called Verus to reinforce the perceived necessity of penal institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Government officials used Verus to produce narratives that (1) recast criminalized communities as dangerous and therefore disposable and (2) shielded carceral institutions from liability for systematic neglect. Ultimately, the aim of this article is to contribute to emerging critical concepts such as “data colonialism,” a term that has largely been used to describe the social and economic consequences of parasitic data extraction and monopoly control of digital infrastructure. In addition to these issues, I argue that data-driven technologies are used as vehicles for movement capture and the reproduction of prison logics that enable modes of racialized economic exploitation that extend far beyond the high-tech innovation economy.

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