This weeks seminar and lecture is about surveillance, dataveillance and consumer discipline; this means that “watching and recording others activities as a means of monitoring and supervision” – Lyon, 2002.
Therefore a focus on systematic attention to personal detail for the purpose of influence / management / care / control / regulation. This works through: recording information –> classify the recorded information –> the information will be ordered based on predetermined categories –> the decisions will be made based on the opportunities and risks about each subject.
When you enter a space, physical or virtual, or exchange information with another human being or with a terminal, as a customer, a student, a commuter, citizen, patient etc. this information that you have shared is online forever and can be given to any database.
Surveillance through monitoring, recording, categorising and classifying the behaviour of subject populations has been an essential means of social ordering, manipulation of desire and population management. As our use of digital, networked media increases personal data, viewing preferences and consumption habits, are facilitating an unprecedented capacity for exploitation, (realising commodity value), appropriation and control over the individuals. We are more or less familiar with ideas of the ‘big brother society’ and the state surveillance but tend to be less aware and less critical of commercial surveillance and the disciplining of consumers. After introducing the concept of surveillance and its role in social sorting and controlling populations.
Surveillance through seduction means that unsuspected consumers are used as data subjects subjects, using whatever websites they go on and give away personal information in exchange for ‘special offers’. Through this I have learnt that people are unaware of the dangers they could be putting them into as they’d rather gain the ‘special offers’, student records, medical records, criminal records and credit records.
- “The rise of the Information Society itself … has exposed the centrality of information processing, communication and control on all aspects of human society and social behaviour” (Beninger, 1986:436)