Book Reviews / Books

Review in Communication and the Public Interest

Lingel, Jessa.  Review of Pax Technica by Philip N. Howard. Communication and the Public. (2016): 1(1), pp. 131-134, DOI: 10.1177/2057047315617766:

Pax Technica operates at the convergence of Phil Howard’s longstanding interests in technology and governance, through the lenses of two constructs: the internet of things (IoT) and democracy. Competing with big data and cloud storage as the dominant tech buzzword of the last decade, the IoT is less descriptive of a particular technology than a set of relationships between technologies, a constant, largely invisible flow of communication between devices via embedded sensors. Although there is a tendency to think of the IoT as near futurism, these relationships are already here, from smartphone-based payment systems to weight scales that synch with personal fitness trackers. Howard’s main premise in this book is that as these processes of data gathering become increasingly embedded into our everyday lives, the consequences will not only be technological, they will also be profoundly political.


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