The portable panopticon: morality and mobile technologies

The portable panopticon: morality and mobile technologies Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore ethical issues arising from the mass deployment and take‐up of mobile technologies. Design/methodology/approach – The ethical dimensions of mobile technologies and their use among the general population are considered within a conceptual framework drawing on James Moor's belief in a need for “better ethics” for emerging technologies and Michel Foucault's development of Jeremy Bentham's panopticon as a tool of surveillance. Findings – It is found that the mass deployment and use of mobile technologies amongst the general population raise some interesting questions about the changing nature of surveillance and the ethical issues that come out of this. Originality/value – The paper offers an original perspective on the ethical issues arising from new mobile technologies and surveillance by inverting the established top‐down notion of technology and control derived from Foucault. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society Emerald Publishing

The portable panopticon: morality and mobile technologies

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1477-996X
DOI
10.1108/14779961111167676
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore ethical issues arising from the mass deployment and take‐up of mobile technologies. Design/methodology/approach – The ethical dimensions of mobile technologies and their use among the general population are considered within a conceptual framework drawing on James Moor's belief in a need for “better ethics” for emerging technologies and Michel Foucault's development of Jeremy Bentham's panopticon as a tool of surveillance. Findings – It is found that the mass deployment and use of mobile technologies amongst the general population raise some interesting questions about the changing nature of surveillance and the ethical issues that come out of this. Originality/value – The paper offers an original perspective on the ethical issues arising from new mobile technologies and surveillance by inverting the established top‐down notion of technology and control derived from Foucault.

Journal

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in SocietyEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 16, 2011

Keywords: CCTV; Civil and political rights; Communication technologies; Ethics; Mobile computing; Web 2.0

References

  • On liberty
    Mill, J.S.
  • What is computer ethics?
    Moor, J.H.
  • The future of computer ethics: you ain't seen nothin' yet!
    Moor, J.H.
  • Why we need better ethics for emerging technologies
    Moor, J.H.
  • CCTV: beyond penal modernism?
    Norris, C.; McCahill, M.

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