An Unbreakable Bond

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“An Unbreakable Bond”is inspired by, on one hand, the notion of uberveillanceand, on the otherhand, by more recent developments in worker surveillance on the basis of microchip technologies. Uberveillanceis a term conceived by M.G. Michael in 2006 and refers to ubiquitous or pervasive electronic surveillance that may not be always on but that is always with you (Michael and Michael 2007). It is a form of bodily, invasive surveillance made possible by embedded devices that indiscriminately quantify and measure the self. Uberveillancethrough microchip technology has previously been explored in the context of healthcare, crime prevention, and worker monitoring (Michael and Michael 2014). In particular, the promise of the convenience and accessibility of microchip implants in the employee–employer relationship has prompted scholarly attention into its legal, ethical,and commercial implications (Ajunwa, Crawford, and Schultz2017; Rodriguez 2019; Weinberg et al. 2015). Taking these developments into account, “An Unbreakable Bond”makes a creative contribution to the potential, wider societal implications of uberveillancethrough microchip implants by taking them beyond previously explored contexts and placing them within a parent–child relationship. In doing so, it prompts a reflection upon the ways in which technology can mediate the closest relationships within our lives, for better or for worse. Through Alice, we are also confronted with the potential impacts that microchip implants can have not only on her relationship with her mother but also especially on her own emotional development. Through the mother’s perspective, the story explores the instances that might lead to the adoption of such a tool, such asanxiety over parenting abilities and trends or familial circumstances and economics. In bringing both perspectives together, “An Unbreakable Bond”ultimately aims to contribute to a wider conversation on the types of societies we’d like to create and the role of surveillance (or uberveillance) within those structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-461
Number of pages4
JournalSurveillance & Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2021


  • Surveillance
  • Privacy
  • Parental


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