This paper aims to fill this gap (infra, originality) by providing a conceptual framework for discussing “technologies of the self and other,” by showing that, in most cases, self-tracking also involves other-tracking.
In so doing, we draw upon Foucault’s “technologies of the self” and present-day literature on self-tracking technologies. We elaborate on two cases and practical domains to illustrate and discuss this mutual process: first, the quantified workplace; and second, quantification by wearables in a non-clinical and self-initiated context.
The main conclusion is that these shapings are never (morally) neutral and have ethical implications, such as regarding “quantified otherness,” a notion we propose to point at the risk that the other could become an object of examination and competition.
Although there is ample literature on the quantified self, considerably less attention is given to how the relation with the other is being shaped by self-tracking technologies that allow data sharing (e.g. wearables or apps such as Strava or RunKeeper).
The authors are grateful to the reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions. They also like to thank Tania Moerenhout, Joel Parthemore, and the Philosophy and Ethics group at Eindhoven University of Technology for reading and commenting on earlier versions of this article. The paper was also presented at Ethicomp 2018; suggestions and remarks received there have improved the paper. In this context, the authors are also grateful to Richard Volkman.
Gabriels, K. and Coeckelbergh, M. (2019), "‘Technologies of the self and other’: how self-tracking technologies also shape the other", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 119-127. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-12-2018-0094Download as .RIS
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