Panel #2. “Data quality” in border control and migration management: Politics, practices, and implications

Matthias Leese, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Silvan Pollozek, European University Viadrina, Germany

With the steady increase of data and databases that are mobilized for border control and migration management around the globe, the “quality” of data has started to draw the attention of regulatory bodies, asylum and law enforcement authorities, and non-state actors alike. Data quality is considered key to interoperable information systems and harmonized datasets and promises reliable information that can be used for risk analysis, situational awareness, (re-)identification, or profiling. But how do arrangements and practices of cleaning, filtering, and validating turn inaccurate, incomplete, and messy datasets into “high-quality” ones? Which notions of data quality are entangled with attempts of regulation? And how do data quality issues reconfigure border control and migration management on different levels?
This panel invites contributions that explore the practices, politics, and implications of data quality within border control and migration management. Contributions might include – but are not limited to – inquiries into
● different notions, visions and problematizations migration and border management actors articulate regarding “data quality”
● the regulation of data quality
● data quality and the shaping of knowledge
● data maintenance
● institutional reordering and the reshuffling of power hierarchies in the name of “data quality”
● implications that faulty data can have on human rights and civil liberties
● how data quality can be problematized by affected individuals and civil society organizations.