Synthesis technological surveillance and individual privacy

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Synthesis of Technological Surveillance and Individual Privacy

In this paper, the issues that are to be discussed are among of the controversial issue of technological surveillance. This is an important topic because one half of certain populations feel that by having a constant surveillance on the population then everyone will be safe from harm. The other half of the certain persuasion in this controversial debate feels that having an incredible amount of technological surveillance will play a major hindrance on individual privacy and perhaps liberty. The first point of view that will be discussed is how technology can be used to protect populations by the means of surveillance. The second point of view mentioned in this paper is how technology is used to hinder individual liberty. Then, a new position of using surveillance technology in a matter that will not inherently destroy individual privacy will be synthesized later at the end of this report.


The first position on the topic of the advanced technology surveillance begins by the fact that technology is beginning to grow at an incredible rate; in addition, it is only natural to be using such technology to employ surveillance upon the people in order to keep them safe from harm. Lippert’s and Wood’s position on the topic is that technology can certainly be used in order by the rightful authorities in order to safely secure the status quo of the population. There are numerous accounts of the author’s written in his entry. “Surveillance technologies thereby have the simultaneous capacity to decrease the legibility of the social context for those embodied in the place” (Lippert and Wood).

This author believes that his beliefs that the technological surveillance is surely one that benefits society. The author fully agrees that technological surveillance is major benefactor that can be used as a great tool to use in order to uphold the safety of the public. However, Patton agrees that with this particular author because of the simple factoid that “certain behaviors are shaped whenever there are cameras around” (Patton). “In increasing numbers, video surveillance is being explored by police, local government, business, and other community leaders” (Greenberg)

The author also mentions in agreement that everyone, while under some surveillance, is put under some responsibility to behave in a manner that best fits with societal terms. Also, there are statistics that do reinforce the same perspective that each of these authors are vying to present to the reader such as that “larger Canadian cities and reflect a centralization and intensification of urban surveillance that commenced in the 2000s” (Lippert and Wood). Both of these authors are firmly believe their standpoints.


I was able to extract evidence from the four sources that were presented to me. One author shares the commonality with another about this certain topic. This is why they agree with each other. “The search initially yielded 1,094 news items. This population of coverage was examined manually and reduced to a sample of 595 discrete news items by eliminating duplicates” (Greenberg). Both Patton and Lippert believe in common ground by the means of that technology by some grounds can be accepted into everyday life on some level.

Also, both Patton and Lippert advocate using technology as a means to uphold safety by that surveillance can be used on an individual level so deviants would be less willing to commit such wrongful acts. “Camera surveillance systems in North America have been often BID-financed and encouraged, significant too has been the widespread introduction” (Lippert and Wood). They agree on the effects of technology on people through the fact that surveillance can as well as the fact that surveillance is able to act as a discipline technique for the population to adhere by. “By providing a place for diverse groups to mix, public places afford people with face-to-face interaction and opportunities to participated in informal community life” (Patton). Even though these two authors have seemingly different viewpoints, they are able to come together in terms of commonalities and similarities.


Not everyone agrees on the same topics and in the cases of these authors, this is very applicable in this certain situation. In matters of the perspective of using technology to uphold safety differ by that technology can be used to uphold safety by the proper authorities. However, Lippert is of the persuasion of surveillance technology is used to create safety for the populations. “Property managers install and use camera surveillance to watch conduct in common spaces” (Lippert and Wood). Both of these authors have differentiating opinions regarding of cameras and how they can be used to uphold safety. They also suggest using technology through different means. Patton suggests that technology can be used through on-demand intentions of the individuals while Lippert believes that technology can definitely be used through a top-down authorial figure in matters of upholding the personal safety of everyone that the technology is watching.

Another area that these authors disagree about the effects of technology has on people. Patton agrees that the surveillance does place everyone under the notion that they are guilty while Lippert believes that surveillance on all peoples can be normalized in such a manner that people are able to no longer about the cameras that are surrounding them.“It would seem that both human agents and technologies and how they are assembled is relevant for understanding new developments in urban surveillance” (Lippert and Wood). Despite the fact that these two authors have shared a commonality among each other, the most noticeable factor to take heed here is that they share differences in perspectives when regarding this issue.


After considering the evidence, my position on this topic is that surveillance technology should be used on a level of the individual who can record anything – just through the use of a mobile phone. I was able to come to terms of this synthesis of the simple fact that the surveillance technology continues to grow at an incredible rate but also at same time, the surveillance technology – especially when it is either wrongfully used with bias or excessive – can prove to be a hindrance to individual privacy. “In public places, people guide their behaviors through their interactions with others and their understanding of the social context in which they are participating” (Patton). By bringing the surveillance technology to the individual level where the power of surveillance is decentralized, more actions can be taken to stop deviants from committing crimes.

I was able to come to this conclusion by jointly combining the viewpoints of Lippert and Patton into one complete decision. It was also mentioned that even when one of those “6,000 cameras captured some criminal acts on camera, one of the police officers would be unable to stop the crime in time anytime” ("Analysis: Role of surveillance cameras in fighting terrorism”). That could be partly due to the fact that a centralized force is handling the surveillance of the people ineffectively and cannot prevent all of the crimes from taking places from occurring. Each of these viewpoints were fiercely opposed to each other but in the end, but of them were able to create a sound argument.


In the end, I agree with the synthesis of using surveillance on an individual basis so deviants would be unable to reinforce their criminal actions onto property. I was able to be persuaded to this issue because surveillance dealt through a centralized collective would be hindrance, potentially abusive, and ineffective. The reason I agree is because that the surveillance shouldn’t be handled by a third-party that has little incentive to uphold the quality of the surveillance but at the individual who is more apt to ensuring that crime is not to occur again.

We can do about this particular issue is use individual surveillance as a means of stopping and even deterring crimes from even occurring. Even if the crime has been practiced, in the very least, the criminals would be easily identified. We fear that if we don’t then we will surely regret it.

Reference no: EM13135367

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