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Version of 16 February 2012
Roger Clarke **
© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 2009-12
Available under an AEShareNet licence or a Creative Commons licence.
This document is at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/FSA.html
Surveillance was for centuries limited to human observation. Gradually, aids became available to assist in the activity. The scope of surveillance expanded during the second half of the nineteenth century, with electronic surveillance following very quickly on the heels of the deployment of the telegraph and the telephone. In the second half of the twentieth century, a new opportunity was exploited, to conduct data surveillance and monitor people through the data-trails that their behaviour left behind them. Around the turn of the twenty-first century, it became much easier to monitor a person's location, and to track them. In parallel, technologies were refined to enable the direct surveillance of the individual's body. The economics of surveillance technologies is now such that omnipresence and omniscience are becoming realisable dreams, for some, and nightmares, for others.
Surveillance activities vary enormously in their characteristics. In order to being some coherence to the analysis of surveillance activities, it is important that a framework be established and a consistent terminology developed. This document contributes to the emergence of such a framework, by providing definitions of fundamental terms, and structured lists of the forms of surveillance and the dimensions of a surveillance activity.
This section provides definitions of key terms. The following sections provide structured lists firstly of the forms of surveillance and their supporting technologies, and secondly of the dimensions of a surveillance activity. The purpose is to provide a basis for analysing surveillance's impacts, particularly on the various dimensions of privacy.
The systematic investigation or monitoring of the actions or communications of one or more persons
The surveillance of an identified person
In general, a specific reason exists for the investigation or monitoring. It may also, however, be applied as a means of deterrence against particular actions by the person, or represssion of the person's behaviour.
The surveillance of groups of people, usually large groups
In general, the reason for investigation or monitoring is to identify individuals who belong to some particular class of interest to the surveillance organization. It may also, however, be used for its deterrent effects.
Surveillance of a feature of a person, or of an artefact that is very closely associated with a person included embedded within the person's body
Surveillance that applies across all space and all time (omni-present), and supports some organisation that is all-seeing and even all-knowing (omniscient), at least relative to some person or object
The use of Surveillance as a countermeasure.
Surveillance is normally used when the activity is undertaken by or on behalf of a powerful organisation, or less commonly a powerful individual ('sur' = 'above').
Sousveillance is used where the activity is undertaken by or on behalf of the less powerful, commonly an individual or a group, and the purpose is as a countermeasure against behaviours of powerful organisations or individuals ('sous' = 'beneath').
The term was coined c. 1995 by Steven Mann (e.g. Mann et al. 2003).
The section provides structured lists of the forms of surveillance and supporting technologies. All forms of surveillance interfere with behavioural privacy, and particular forms interfere with communications privacy, data privacy, and privacy of the physical person.
This involves the observation and possibly also recording of a target's location relative to some physical space, or some virtual space (such as an Internet IP-address).
Longstanding forms of this category of surveillance include the use of human sight and hearing in order to perform a pursuit, and location stake-out (e.g. of the target's own home or workplace; sites of relations, friends, associates; or social locations); and the use of human informants, both in a casual manner, and in a more organised manner such as, in contemporary terms, 'crowd-sourcing'.
More sophisticated forms include the Detection and/or Recording:
Facilitative Mechanisms, include location-data retention and re-purposing, e.g. ANPR data ostensibly for traffic offences but actually or also for mass surveillance
Detection and/or Recording of data from a person:
The public and political acceptability, the legality, and the effectiveness of a particular instance of surveillance differ greatly depending on the design choices that it evidences. An approach to developing an ethical framework for surveillance is in Michael, McNamee & Michael (2006).
That which is subjected to surveillance may be:
The beneficiaries of surveillance may be:
Relevant categories of organisations include associations of persons, corporations, associations of corporations, and government agencies, which can be usefull further categorised into administrative, law enforcement and national security agencies.
The surveillance may be conducted by:
Two broad categories of purposes can be distinguished:
The motivation for the surveillance may be:
Using one or more of the forms defined in Exhibit 2A.
The locus of the surveillance may be defined:
The timeframe in which surveillance is conducted may be:
The intensity with which surveillance is conducted may be:
The persistence of consequences of surveillance may be:
The time-period within which surveillance is applied may be:
Note: References in bold are confirmed as being relevant to this document. The remainder are to be evaluated and many will be deleted.
APF (2009) 'Policy Statement re Visual Surveillance, incl. CCTV' Australian Privacy Foundation, October 2009, at http://www.privacy.org.au/Papers/CCTV-1001.html
Clarke R. (1988) 'Information Technology and Dataveillance' Commun. ACM 31,5 (May 1988) 498-512, and re-published in C. Dunlop and R. Kling (Eds.), 'Controversies in Computing', Academic Press, 1991, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/CACM88.html
Clarke R. (1994) 'Human Identification in Information Systems: Management Challenges and Public Policy Issues' Information Technology & People 7,4 (December 1994) 6-37, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/HumanID.html
Clarke R. (1999a) 'Identified, Anonymous and Pseudonymous Transactions: The Spectrum of Choice' Proc. User Identification & Privacy Protection Conf., Stockholm, 14-15 June 1999, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/UIPP99.html
Clarke R. (1999b) 'Person-Location and Person-Tracking: Technologies, Risks and Policy Implications' Proc. 21st International Conference on Privacy and Personal Data Protection, pp.131-150, Hong Kong, September 1999. Revised version in Information Technology & People 14, 2 (Summer 2001) 206-231, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/PLT.html
Clarke R. (2001) 'While You Were Sleeping ... Surveillance Technologies Arrived' Australian Quarterly 73, 1 (January-February 2001), at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/AQ2001.html
Clarke R. (2006) 'What's 'Privacy'? Working Paper, Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, July 2006, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/Privacy.html
Clarke R. (2007a) 'What '+berveillance' Is, and What To Do About It' Invited Keynote, 2nd RNSA Workshop on the Social Implications of National Security - From Dataveillance to +berveillance ..., 29 October 2007, University of Wollongong. Revised version published as 'What is +berveillance? (And What Should Be Done About It?)' IEEE Technology and Society 29, 2 (Summer 2010) 17-25, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/RNSA07.html
Clarke R. (2007b) 'Surveillance Vignettes' Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, September 2007, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/SurvVign.html
Clarke R. (2008) 'Dissidentity: The Political Dimension of Identity and Privacy' Identity in the Information Society 1 (2008) 221-228, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/Dissidentity.html
Clarke R. (2009) 'The Covert Implementation of Mass Vehicle Surveillance in Australia' Proc. 4th Workshop on the Social Implications of National Security: Covert Policing, 7 April 2009, ANU, Canberra, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/ANPR-Surv.html
Clarke R. & Stevens K. (1997) 'Evaluation Or Justification? The Application Of Cost/Benefit Analysis To Computer Matching Schemes' Euro. Conf. in Infor. Syst., Cork, Ireland, 19-21 June 1997, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/SOS/ECIS97.html
Clarke R. & Wigan M. (2011) 'You Are Where You've Been: The Privacy Implications of Location and Tracking Technologies' Journal of Location Based Services 5, 3-4 (December 2011) 138-155, PrePrint at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/YAWYB-CWP.html
Mann S., Nolan J. & Wellman B. (2003) 'Sousveillance: Inventing and Using Wearable Computing Devices for Data Collection in Surveillance Environments' Surveillance & Society 1, 3 (June 2003) 331-355, at http://www.surveillance-and-society.org/articles1(3)/sousveillance.pdf
Michael K., McNamee A. & Michael M.G. (2006) 'The emerging ethics of humancentric GPS tracking and monitoring' Proc. Int'l Conf. on Mobile Business, 25th-27th July 2006, Copenhagen, Denmark, pp. 34-44
Michael K., McNamee A., Michael M.G. & Tootell H. (2006) 'Location-based intelligence - modelling behaviour in humans using GPS' Proc. Int'l Symposium on Technology and Society, 8th-11th June 2006, New York City, pp. 1-8
Michael M.G. & Michael K. (2006) 'National Security: The Social Implications of the Politics of Transparency' Prometheus 24, 4 (December 2006) 359-363, at http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1389&context=infopapers
Michael M.G. & Michael K. (2007) '+berveillance: 24/7 x 365 People Tracking and Monitoring' Proc. 29th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioner, at http://www.privacyconference2007.gc.ca/Terra_Incognita_program_E.html
Michael K. & Michael M.G. (2008) 'Innovative Automatic Identification and Location-Based Services: From Bar Codes to Chip Implants' IGI Press, Forthcoming, 350pp.
Perusco L. & Michael K. (2006) 'Control, trust, privacy and security: evaluating location-based services' IEEE Technology & Society Magazine 26, 1 (Spring 2007) 4-16
Perusco L., Michael K. & Michael M.G. (2006) 'Location-based services and the privacy-security dichotomy' Proc. 3rd Int'l Conf. on Mobile Computing and Ubiquitous Networking, 11-13th October 2006, London, England, pp. 91-98
Wigan M. & Clarke R. (2006) 'Social Impacts of Transport Surveillance' Proc. RNSA Workshop on Social Implications of Information Security Measures upon Citizens and Business, Uni. of Wollongong, 29 May 2006, in Michael K. & Michael M.G. (Eds.) 'The Social Implications of Information Security Measures on Citizens and Business' Research Network Secure Australia, 2006, Chapter 2, pp. 27-44. Revised version published as Wigan M. & Clarke R. 'Social Impacts of Transport Surveillance' Prometheus 24, 4 (December 2006) 389-403, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/SITS-0604.html
Wigan M. & Clarke R. (2009) 'Transport and Surveillance Aspects of Location-Based Services' Transportation Research Record 2105 (September 2009) 92-99
Roger Clarke is Principal of Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra. He is also a Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre at the University of N.S.W., and a Visiting Professor in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University.
The content and infrastructure for these community service pages are provided by Roger Clarke through his consultancy company, Xamax.
From the site's beginnings in August 1994 until February 2009, the infrastructure was provided by the Australian National University. During that time, the site accumulated close to 30 million hits. It passed 65 million in early 2021.
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Created: 15 August 2009 - Last Amended: 16 February 2012 by Roger Clarke - Site Last Verified: 15 February 2009
This document is at www.rogerclarke.com/DV/FSA.html