chapter  14
16 Pages

Privacy, Surveillance and Identity

Surveillance technology
ByMathias Klang

Surveillance technology Throughout history, technology has been used to control the undesirable behaviour of others in a cost-efficient manner. Construction of walls such as Hadrian’s Wall or China’s Great Wall were motivated as cost-efficient defence systems. During the crusades, great castles were built to enable the defence of a territory using the minimum amount of manpower1 and, more recently, barbed wire2 has been used to control both persons and animals. Bentham’s Panopticon was a creation aimed at the minimisation of the human costs of surveillance.3 The costs of surveillance were transferred onto the individual and the architecture enhanced the levels of selfcontrol among the inmates of the all-seeing prison. Taking this perspective, it is not surprising that camera technology today is being implemented and developed for use in surveillance.