Surveillance Society: Monitoring Everyday Life (Issues in Society)
||Author: David Lyon|
List Price: $27.95
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Publisher: Open Univ Pr (April, 2001)
Sales Rank: 366,782
Average Customer Rating: 4 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 4 out of 5
A thoughtful discourse
In 'Surveillance Society', David Lyon takes a closer look at the level of surveillance we are really under as individuals, and takes a fresh look at the relationship between technology and society. As most of us are already aware, personal data is collected from us all the time, whether we know it or not (and, often, whether we like it or not). Identity numbers, camera images, fingerprinting, retina scans, DNA samples, customer fidelity cards, credit cards, mailing lists, consumer groups, Internet activity, computer cookies - there are numerous ways that the ordinary life of citizens and consumers is examined by computer databases as we participate in contemporary society.
David Lyon argues that to understand what is happening we have to look even beyond the Orwellian warnings and the cries for more privacy. He argues that such watchfulness is not only an intrusion on our personal privacy, but that it also reinforces divisions by sorting people into social and political categories.
'Surveillance Society' is great thought fodder. It'll make you think about the society we live in and the one that's just over the hill. How much surveillance is acceptable, and how much isn't. Most of us would accept that a car park under the watchful eye of a supervisory camera is a good thing. It can help protect the individual and their property. But Lyon raises the question - how much 'surveillance' is there just for show? Are there really public-spirited overlords who can control a city at the touch of a mouse? Such absolute power is scarcely conceivable. The sheer mass of data would be impossible to handle. So what is useful and what is not? What can we accept and what must we reject? What choice do we have?
· The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance Society