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Article
Publication date: 19 February 2021

Claire Seungeun Lee

The first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was documented in China, and the virus was soon to be introduced to its neighboring country – South Korea. South…

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Abstract

Purpose

The first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was documented in China, and the virus was soon to be introduced to its neighboring country – South Korea. South Korea, one of the earliest countries to initiate a national pandemic response to COVID-19 with fairly substantial measures at the individual, societal and governmental level, is an interesting example of a rapid response by the Global South. The current study examines contact tracing mobile applications (hereafter, contact tracing apps) for those who were subject to self-quarantine through the lenses of dataveillance and datafication. This paper analyzes online/digital data from those who were mandatorily self-quarantined by the Korean government largely due to returning from overseas travel.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses an Internet ethnography approach to collect and analyze data. To extract data for this study, self-quarantined Korean individuals' blog entries were collected and verified with a combination of crawling and manual checking. Content analysis was performed with the codes and themes that emerged. In the COVID-19 pandemic era, this method is particularly useful to gain access to those who are affected by the situation. This approach advances the author’s understandings of COVID-19 contact tracing mobile apps and the experiences of self-quarantined people who use them.

Findings

The paper shows Korean citizens' understandings and views of using the COVID-19 self-tracing application in South Korea through examining their experiences. The research argues that the application functions as a datafication tool that collects the self-quarantined people's information and performs dataveillance on the self-quarantined people. This research further offers insights for various agreements/disagreements at different actors (i.e. the self-quarantined, their families, contact tracers/government officials) in the process of contact tracing for COVID-19.

Originality/value

This study also provides insights into the implications of information and technology as they affect datafication and dataveillance conducted on the public. This study investigates an ongoing debate of COVID-19's contact tracing method concerning privacy and builds upon an emerging body of literature on datafication, dataveillance, social control and digital sociology.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/OIR-08-2020-0377

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2021

Claire Seungeun Lee

The aims of this paper are to explore the rise of cyberhate on the Zoom video conferencing platform at the outset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and…

Abstract

Purpose

The aims of this paper are to explore the rise of cyberhate on the Zoom video conferencing platform at the outset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and to examine victimized cases of Zoombombing where it was used as a cyberhate tool. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only impacted our lives and modes of working and studying, but also created new environments for cybercriminals to engage in cybercrime, cyberhate and hacking by exploiting tools such as Zoom. This new phenomenon called “Zoombombing” was first reported in mid-March 2020, when the social distancing and stay-at-home policies in the United States were nationally introduced.

Design/methodology/approach

This research conducted a news media content analysis on cases of Zoombombing. To conduct this analysis empirically, a dataset with all of the reported Zoombombing cases from March to April 2020 was created. Google Trends, news media and tweets were used to analyze Zoombombing as a form of cyberhate, particularly digital racism.

Findings

The results reveal prevalent Zoom-mediated racism toward Asian Americans, African Americans and Jewish Americans. This study understands Zoombombing from a sociopolitical/cultural perspective through news reporting of victimized cases and explores various ways that Zoombombing shapes, mediates, transforms and escalates racism.

Originality/value

This study is one of the very first studies to analyze Zoombombing in a way that builds upon an emerging body of literature on cyberhate. This paper considers Zoom as a space where curious young people, cybercriminals, extremists and hackers impose their ideologies and beliefs upon newly established online learning and working environments and engage in a struggle for identity recognition in the midst of increasingly accessible vulnerable software and cyberspace.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2019

Claire Seungeun Lee

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to explore how China uses a social credit system as part of its “data-driven authoritarianism” policy; and second, to…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to explore how China uses a social credit system as part of its “data-driven authoritarianism” policy; and second, to investigate how datafication, which is a method to legitimize data collection, and dataveillance, which is continuous surveillance through the use of data, offer the Chinese state a legitimate method of monitoring, surveilling and controlling citizens, businesses and society. Taken together, China’s social credit system is analyzed as an integrated tool for datafication, dataveillance and data-driven authoritarianism.

Design/methodology/approach

This study combines the personal narratives of 22 Chinese citizens with policy analyses, online discussions and media reports. The stories were collected using a scenario-based story completion method to understand the participants’ perceptions of the recently introduced social credit system in China.

Findings

China’s new social credit system, which turns both online and offline behaviors into a credit score through smartphone apps, creates a “new normal” way of life for Chinese citizens. This data-driven authoritarianism uses data and technology to enhance citizen surveillance. Interactions between individuals, technologies and information emerge from understanding the system as one that provides social goods, using technologies, and raising concerns of privacy, security and collectivity. An integrated critical perspective that incorporates the concepts of datafication and dataveillance enhances a general understanding of how data-driven authoritarianism develops through the social credit system.

Originality/value

This study builds upon an ongoing debate and an emerging body of literature on datafication, dataveillance and digital sociology while filling empirical gaps in the study of the global South. The Chinese social credit system has growing recognition and importance as both a governing tool and a part of everyday datafication and dataveillance processes. Thus, these phenomena necessitate discussion of its consequences for, and applications by, the Chinese state and businesses, as well as affected individuals’ efforts to adapt to the system.

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