057 Petra Molnar and Kenya-Jade Pinto: The refugee surveillance lab

A special edition of Citizen D podcast takes you behind the scenes of a privacy crisis brewing on Lesbos island with the potential global impact.

We are talking to Petra Molnar, a lawyer and researcher specializing in migration, technology, and human rights and Kenya-Jade Pinto, an Indo-Kenyan/Canadian documentary photographer, filmmaker, and lawyer based out of Toronto.

Watching the watchers, we start our journey on the Greek island Lesbos where Petra and Kenya-Jade researched and filmed the use of surveillance technologies by the authorities in order to limit and control the refugee population. But the technologies used on the refugee population soon find their way into less chaotic western societies, often with little to none regulatory framework.

How do we tackle the issues of surveillance society, what can we learn from the testing grounds of a refugee surveillance lab and who is responsible to protect our privacy rights?

Petra Molnar is a lawyer and currently working on a project studying the human rights impacts of AI and automated technologies on migration control with EDRi (European Digital Rights).

Kenya-Jade Pinto is a member of Women Photograph, Diversify Photo,the Visual Researchers’ Society of Canada, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations as well as a Juris Doctor (cum laude) with a specialization in International law. She is a member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario and is a working group member of the Racial Equity Media Collective.

Music provided by Cousin Silas

Citizen D advice:

  • Focus on expanding the debate on surveillance tech across the social spectre
  • Demand political responsibility and clear positions on these matters from your political representatives
  • Pay attention to the boring technologies

More information:

  • Surveillance on the seas: Europe’s new Migration Pact – article
  • What if an Algorithm Decided Whether You Could Stay in Canada or Not? – article
  • Canada’s Adoption of AI in Immigration Raises Serious Rights Implications – research
  • Surveillance Won’t Stop the Coronavirus – article
  • COVID-19: Can Technology Become a Tool of Oppression and Surveillance? – article
  • EDRI: The human rights impacts of migration control technologies – project website

About the podcast:

Podcast Citizen D gives you a reason for being a productive citizen. Citizen D features talks by experts in different fields focusing on the pressing topics in the field of information society and media. We can do it. Full steam ahead!

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