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Surveillance and Social Control - 2 How monitored are we? Is Britain a Big Brother society?

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Presentation on theme: "Surveillance and Social Control - 2 How monitored are we? Is Britain a Big Brother society?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Surveillance and Social Control - 2 How monitored are we? Is Britain a Big Brother society?

2 1) The collection of information (dataveillance) 2) The rise of CCTV (closed circuit television) -The streets of Paris -The case of Las Vegas 3) The politics of surveillance - Official story / unofficial stories

3 The Collection of Information David Lyon The Surveillance Society a)Visual surveillance b)Dataveillance Sophisticated electronic data collection systems 1) Specific individuals 2) Types of individuals / groups 3) Whole population

4 Constant data collection More data collated every day Databases contain e.g. -Financial situation -Health situation -Use of state benefits -Consumer preferences -Education record -Criminal record

5 The Collection of Information Government: -Criminal data -Life data - Voting data - Social welfare data

6 The paradoxes of democracy 1) Government knowledge of individual grows 2) After September 11th – more surveillance to protect freedom

7 The Collection of Information Business corporations - Consumer preferences - Marketing: reducing uncertainty -Selling your data - data as commodity

8 Government data collection systems separate from Business data collection systems Now: Blurring of boundaries -Government use of business data e.g. mobile phone records - Electronic trails

9 The Rise of CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) Britain the most visually monitored society in Western world 2000: 1.3 million cameras Increasing at 20% per year

10 Average person per day: - 300 cameras - 30 CCTV networks - Public systems - Private systems Average driver on motorway: - image taken every 4 minutes

11 CCTV - historical background Changes in Paris Medieval city -Visually inaccessible to authorities Modern city - Highly visually accessible to authorities - From mid-19 th century, total reconstruction of streets

12 What CCTV can do 1. Capture car number-plates 2. Capture faces 3. Store and compare 4. Size & secrecy

13 Las Vegas casinos 1) Streets outside - CCTV 2) CCTV everywhere inside - Zoom mechanisms - Infra-red, heat-seeking motion mechanisms 3) Electronic communications surveillance

14 The Politics of Surveillance Official story: - reduces crime - enhances public safety - discourages creation of new criminals - 75% of public in favour

15 Unofficial story: Norris and Armstrong City of Hull, UK 1) 900 targeted surveillances - 12 arrests 2) Operators biases: youths, black people, drunks, beggars 3) Shifts crime to other areas

16 Zygmunt Bauman Consumers & failed consumers a)Streets and & shopping malls kept pure b)Public spaces controlled by private business interests c) Consumerism: stimulate aspirations of all d) Surveillance: control aspirations of poor

17 Gated communities - Private communities for the rich - Fences and electronic surveillance systems USA, South Africa, Brazil - Great divides between rich and poor -Rich frightened of theft and violence -Social fabric torn apart / CCTV as solution -Crime further concentrated in poor areas Coming to Britain soon …

18 ISSUES TO CONSIDER 1) Surveillance necessary and socially beneficial? OR Surveillance intrusive and a violation of human rights? BALANCE? 2) How much privacy do you really have? Has the Big Brother society come to be a reality? 3) Are the poor more targeted than the rich? Is that a problem? Democracy?

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