Surveillance: Useful or not?

Big data Media Panopticon Surveillance

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With recent debates on internet surveillance by NSA and other government controlled organizations, the term surveillance has gotten a pessimistic association. With big data as a hot topic in today’s information age, we find it interesting to look at how the media reflect on internet surveillance in relation to both negative and beneficial effects.

We perspective theories of surveillance, such as panopticon, to our analysis and discussion of findings. We conduct a content analysis of 36 danish news articles, where the object is to create a mapping of the general opinion on surveillance of the danish mass media.

Our study suggests that the media tend to focus on the negative attributes in association with government surveillance, while neglecting on the benefits of big data and personal tracking. Furthermore we discover a need for a new term, that we have named passive personal tracking. This term covers a new generation of self tracking with for instance Google Now.

Jeremy Benthams Panopticon


Panopticon viewed from birds perspective


From super panopticon to panopticon

From Superpanopticon to Panopticon