Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to deconstruct the problem of data growth as a complex contemporary phenomenon and discuss its implications for the domains of anti‐money laundering (AML) and anti‐terrorist financing (ATF). Design/methodology/approach – The theoretical approach of the paper is based upon an examination of the fundamental ideas around information growth, along with the tradition of systems theory and is based upon many of the theoretical concepts discussed by Niklas Luhmann. The concept of distinction is used throughout the paper to discuss technological consequences. Findings – The volume of data for manipulation and its implications on profiling AML and ATF are discussed while the issue data growth are presented as an elemental and core issue within the paper. Practical implications – The practical implications of this paper relate to how technology should be appropriated within financial and other institutions and how the decision‐making processes of traditional bureaucracies surrounding AML/ATF should reflect on their utilization of technology. Originality/value – The originality of this paper lies in its unique dealing of the problem of data growth through its implications and a new theoretical concept is introduced, the concept of electreaucracy to denote the systemic technological interference in bureaucratic conditions and how these influence AML/ATF.
Journal of Money Laundering Control – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 16, 2009
Keywords: Money laundering; Terrorism; Systems theory; Information strategy
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