P2P surveillance in the global village
Ethics and Information Technology
Surveillance, Social media, Information and communication technologies, Panopticon, Public shaming
New ubiquitous information and communication technologies, in particular recording-enabled smart devices and social media programs, are giving rise to a profound new power for ordinary people to monitor and track each other on a global scale. Along with this growing capacity to monitor one another is a new capacity to explicitly and publicly judge one another—to rate, rank, comment on, shame and humiliate each other through the net. Drawing upon warnings from Kierkegaard and Mill on the power of public opinion to produce conformity, I argue a new apparatus of surveillance and control is being generated that threatens individual freedom through a coercion of the will by an anonymous and interconnected crowd. I conclude that we must urgently assess how to protect individuals from a social tyranny of the public enabled by these new technologies while effective measures can still be taken to mitigate their dangers.
Weissman, J. (2019). P2P surveillance in the global village. Ethics and Information Technology, 21, 29-47. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10676-018-9488-y