1 Introduction: Surveillance and the everyday</h5> Information technologies have permeated many different domains of human activity, leading scholars and commentators alike to declare the present era an information age ( Lyon, 1988; Webster, 1995; Castells, 1996, 1997, 1998 ). Whilst the meaning and adequacy of the term are matters for discussion ( Castells, 2000, p. 10; Webster, 2002 ), the prevalence of information generation and processing in the present-day world is scarcely open to dispute (see for example Lefebvre, 2005 ).</P>If information technologies proliferate today, they also imply ever-increasing possibilities of tracking and profiling our daily activities. Recent disclosures regarding the U.S. National Security Agency’s mass-surveillance programmes have provided dramatic evidence thereof. However, the role of information technology in the monitoring and administration of everyday life reaches far beyond such state-driven and policing-centred schemes. Today, computerised systems that act as conduits for multiple cross-cutting forms of data gathering, data transfer and data analysis control, protect and manage everyday life on multiple levels, for security, administrative, commercial and political purposes. Think, for example, of the rapidly expanding use of RFID chips in tickets and goods, of the increasing number of surveillance cameras in public places, of computerised loyalty systems
Geoforum – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2013
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