Katina Michael

Jordan Brown interviews Katina Michael about technology and the impact on society as part of the documentary project that would become Stare Into The Lights My Pretties, almost a decade later.

Katina provides pertinent insights into themes of technological development, privacy, social attitudes, behaviour, technical surveillance and power dynamics, with expert research commentary throughout.


Katina Michael is a professor in the School of Computing and Information Technology at the University of Wollongong, Australia. She is also the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine editor-in-chief, and IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine senior editor.


Click on the time-codes below to seek to that section of the interview.

00:00 The last 25 years and the next 25 years
00:54 Social sorting, marketing data to extract value
00:59 What are companies like Google doing with such information?
04:23 Click trails, the free survey
05:34 Mass personalisation, Mass Customer Relationship Management
06:58 The cycle to keep you coming back
08:24 It’s manipulation
09:36 Centralisation and vulnerability in the world driven by data
11:59 Personalisation of you and your friends
11:59 Data mining
16:12 How these technologies enable more surveillance
17:40 Addiction and Surveillance
17:40 Covert and overt tracking, increasing surveillance visibility
27:06 Nowhere to hide
29:33 No more avatars
35:15 Micro-targeting your personalised experience
36:05 Believing the screen more than real life
37:17 Long-term Implications, Extrapolations
41:35 Überveillance
45:56 The precautionary principle
48:18 Ubiquity, we forget we’re being tracked and how
52:19 Behavioural conditioning to conform

is an activist, artist, musician, independent film-maker and freelance journalist whose work focuses on the interface between the dominant culture and the real impact on people, society and the environment. He has won awards and industry accolades for his work, including the 2018 Edward Snowden Award, the 2017 Change Maker Award (NIFF), and the 2016 Honorary Award of the Ministry of Justice (Slovakia).