Defining the Sensor Society

19 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2014

See all articles by Mark Andrejevic

Mark Andrejevic


Mark Burdon

Queensland University of Technology

Date Written: April 9, 2014


Sensor technologies are proliferating in our networked environments. Devices such as smart phones, cameras, drones, and a growing array of fixed environmental sensors and interactive online platforms now permeate all aspects of our lives. This developing environment is causing radical changes to traditional forms of information collection, storage and analysis processes. There is a shift from targeted, purposeful and discrete forms of information collection to always-on, ubiquitous, ever-expanding and non-specific forms of collection. The increased use of sensors therefore marks important changes to our understandings of surveillance, information processing, and privacy. The advent of the ‘sensor society’ consequently raises significant questions about the role of privacy, power and surveillance in the world of the ever-watching, ever-sensing always-on interactive device. In this paper, we outline our concept of the ‘sensor society’ which provides a new lens to view the role of sensors, the explosion of collectable data, predictive processes and information infrastructures in our societies.

Keywords: Sensor society, sensors, metadata, predictive analytics, information infrasturctures

Suggested Citation

Andrejevic, Mark and Burdon, Mark, Defining the Sensor Society (April 9, 2014). Television and New Media, 2015, Forthcoming, University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 14-21, Available at SSRN:

Mark Andrejevic

Independent ( email )

Mark Burdon (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

GPO Box 2434
Brisbane, Queensland 4001

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