Networked Self-Defense and Monetized Vigilantism: Private Surveillance Systems
15 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2021
Date Written: July 26, 2021
As more and more Americans install internet-connected cameras in and around their homes, in their cars, on their bodies, and everywhere else, and then connect what they see on apps designed to transform surveillance into a social activity, we can see both old connections and novel ones. These developments build upon longstanding American traditions of lawful self-defense and extralegal vigilantism. Yet because these technologies also make use of internet-connected devices and cellphone apps, they introduce new dynamics of networking and monetization that raise questions distinct from issues of information privacy. Private surveillance systems offered to the public today are best understood not as standalone products, but networked surveillance ecosystems. And because these technologies are offered as consumer products, corporate interests further complicate how and why these private surveillance networks have expanded. This essay explores these connections as it situates this emerging world of networked self-defense and monetized vigilantism.
Keywords: surveillance, automation, security, policing, artificial intelligence, vigilantism, privacy
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation