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The BabyBot book

Boris the BabyBot, a little book about Big Data

I published Boris the BabyBot, the world’s first (?) children’s book about corporate surveillance. It’s been enjoyed by kids and adults all over the world, and is now available as a free isiXhosa e-book! More at


Cover page of Big Tsek journal article

Big Tsek: Joburg’s Private Surveillance Network and our Public Deficit was delivered as the Ruth First Memorial Lecture in 2022.

It focuses on a controversial private camera network being rolled out in South African cities, by a company called Vumacam, to consider why the private power of giant technology companies is so often treated as more palatable and benign than state power.

Download it here.

Track and trace, trial and error is a piece of long-form research for the Media Policy and Democracy Project which focuses on the South African government’s evolving approach to contact tracing and related data collection in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. It attempts to piece together how policy decisions were made, how they were implemented, and how effectively the implications for data protection, privacy and related issues were addressed.

Download it here.

Cover page of Cops and Call Records, showing police searching a man with his hands behind his head

Cops and Call Records is a piece of long-form research commissioned by the Media Policy and Democracy Project at the University of Johannesburg; it focuses on lack of regulation in how police officials in South Africa use phone records – a major and mostly overlooked privacy issue with massive legal and ethical implications.

Download it here.

Cover page of Patchwork for Privacy report, showing a man filming a protest crowd on his phone

A Patchwork for Privacy is a research report commissioned by the Media Policy and Democracy Project to assess the communications surveillance laws across the Southern African region, which highlights key gaps in privacy protections in the region. The report aims to help address an information gap in surveillance studies, which tend to focus more on the global north.

Download it here.

Activist guides

I started working on surveillance oversight as an activist with South Africa’s Right2Know Campaign. Among other things I helped work on the following:
Spooked (2018), a report on surveillance of journalists in South Africa
Stop the Surveillance (2017), a handbook on South Africa’s surveillance laws
Big Brother Exposed (2015), a report on state monitoring of activists and unionists

Recent(ish) articles

Find me at work with the team at ALT Advisory.