Science & Technology

USU's Science Unwrapped Explores 'Dark Side of Dataveillance' Friday, March 19

By Mary-Ann Muffoletto |

Friday, March 19, Science Unwrapped welcomes USU political scientist Jeannie Johnson, director of the university's Center for Anticipatory Intelligence. Her talk is broadcast from the Science Unwrapped website at 7 p.m. via Zoom. All are welcome.

Dataveillance, a portmanteau of “data” and “surveillance,” refers to monitoring a data trail. Each of us, with our web-surfing, credit card transactions, emails, GPS coordinates, social media interactions and more, creates a substantial digital footprint.

“Advances in data science make it possible to predict human behavior with increasing accuracy and track nearly every aspect of our lives,” says Utah State University political scientist Jeannie Johnson.

Science Unwrapped at USU welcomes Johnson as featured speaker Friday, March 19, as she presents “The Dark Side of Dataveillance.” Her online presentation begins at 7 p.m. MST via Zoom.

All ages are welcome to tune in to the webinar on Science Unwrapped’s website. Hosted by USU’s College of Science, the online event also features a live, question-and-answer session following Johnson’s talk, along with links to video learning activities.

“Authoritarian governments are learning to leverage data in order to keep their populations in line,” says Johnson, associate professor in USU’s Department of Political Science and director of the university’s Center for Anticipatory Intelligence. “Which parts of ‘dataveillance’ are becoming attractive in the West and what does that mean for democracy?”

Prior to her academic career, Johnson worked within the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Intelligence as a member of the Balkan Task Force from 1998-1999, and served with the U.S. State Department in Embassies Paris and Zagreb.

Johnson authored the 2018 book, The Marines, Counterinsurgency, and Strategic Culture: Lessons Learned and Lost in America’s Wars, which includes a foreword from former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. An Aggie alum, Johnson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from USU in 1993 and 1995, respectively, and completed a doctoral degree in strategic studies from England’s University of Reading in 2013.

Johnson’s presentation is part of Science Unwrapped’s 2020-21 Brave New World” series, which kicked off in September 2020 and continues through April 2021.

For more information, visit the Science Unwrapped website or view the ‘Science Unwrapped at USU’ Facebook and Twitter (@SciUnwrappedUSU).


Mary-Ann Muffoletto
Public Relations Specialist
College of Science


Greg Podgorski
Associate Dean for Undergraduates, Science Unwrapped Chair
College of Science

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