Privacy and Surveillance in the Streets: An Introduction
Chapter 1 in Surveillance, Privacy and Public Space, edited by Bryce Clayton Newell, Tjerk Timan, and Bert-Jaap Koops (Routledge: Routledge Studies in Surveillance book series, 2018).
14 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2018
Date Written: January 18, 2018
Privacy in public space is a recurring topic within a variety of academic fields. Even prior to Warren and Brandeis’s famous call to protect privacy in the face of advancing methods of photography in 1890, new technologies and individual privacy have been in tension with each other. Today, emerging surveillance technologies used by governments (such as police, security services and other public agencies), corporations, and even individual members of the public are reshaping the very nature of physical public space and are challenging the ability of individuals to remain private or anonymous in these spaces, especially in urban environments. Within these spaces, we see complex interactions arise between anonymity and identification; between trade/commercial activity, social interaction, and suspicion and social control. Surveillance and privacy intersect in these spaces, and these intersections are significant, especially as information traditionally kept in private physical spaces and personal activities not subject to long-term and aggregate monitoring are recorded and captured by a variety of visual and other sensors embedded in public space.
Keywords: privacy, surveillance, public space, technology, anonymity, identification, social control, monitoring, privacy theory, privacy law
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