Japanese data strategies, global surveillance capitalism, and the “LINE problem”

Authors

  • Harald Kümmerle

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1344/jnmr.v3i1.38966

Keywords:

Diffractive genealogy; Surveillance capitalism; Japan; geopolitics of data; Decolonial theory.

Abstract

This paper situates data practices in Japan in a diffractive genealogy of surveillance capitalism. It puts data conceptualized in three ways into focus: real data, data in information banks, and data of the super app LINE. While technology embodying these concepts of data is mainly used in Asia, this technology is entangled with discourses and legislation in Europe and practices of U.S. American surveillance capitalism in important aspects. This article empirically traces these entanglements and demonstrates how discourses around data sovereignty, geopolitical shifts, historical background, global political and economic trends, and international policies intermingle in contemporary accounts of data and digital sovereignty in Japanese context. Decolonial theory is consulted in order to account for Japan’s recent past as a non-Western territorial empire and the privileged position that Japanese experts on data have in the drafting of international data policies.

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Published

2022-02-25