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The algorithmic regulation of security: An infrastructural perspective

Rocco Bellanova and Marieke de Goede

Regulation & Governance, 2022, vol. 16, issue 1, 102-118

Abstract: This article contributes to debates on algorithmic regulation by focusing on the domain of security. It develops an infrastructural perspective, by analyzing how algorithmic regulation is enacted through the custom‐built transatlantic data infrastructures of the EU‐U.S. Passenger Name Records and Terrorism Financing Tracking Program programs. Concerning regulation through algorithms, this approach analyzes how specific, commercial data are rendered transferable and meaningful in a security context. Concerning the regulation of algorithms, an infrastructural perspective examines how public values like privacy and accountability are built into international data infrastructures. The creation of data infrastructures affects existing modes of governance and fosters novel power relations among public and private actors. We highlight emergent modes of standard setting, thus enriching Yeung's (2018) taxonomy, and question the practical effects of operationalizing public values through infrastructural choices. Ultimately, the article offers a critical reading of algorithmic security, and how it materially, legally, and politically supports specific ways of doing security.

Date: 2022
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https://doi.org/10.1111/rego.12338

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