Surveillance, Trust and Democracy
Melbourne Law School
Lecture Theatre G08
Carlton VIC 3053
Current surveillance practices erode trusting relationships that are a basic requirement for society itself. In the 21st century, surveillance expands and intensifies into a very complex global phenomenon, not limited to policing and national security. Data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) have become commonplace surveillance techniques. Surveillance is also corporate, seen both in data-gathering and analysis done by platforms and in outsourcing government administration and services to internet corporations. Ordinary users of platforms are implicated in surveillance in unprecedented ways, as those surveilled and as those who engage with surveillance themselves.
In this context, trust is eroded in expanding ways, and with it, democracy, which depends on trust. The situation is complex, due to the changed conditions of possibility for trust, post-democratic practices of outsourcing and public-private partnerships, and an obsession with new modes of data capture and analysis. Non-values of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, speed and convenience trump human flourishing and the common good. New and different approaches are required to repair trust and recover democracy.
Professor David Lyon, Queen's University
Professor David Lyon
Professor David Lyon FRSC FAcSS, Research Chair in Surveillance Studies and Professor of Sociology and of Law at Queen’s University, is a leading international figure in Surveillance Studies. He is Director of the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University, Ontario. Credited with spearheading the field of “Surveillance Studies”, he has produced a steady stream of books and articles including The Electronic Eye (1994), Surveillance Society (2001), Surveillance after September 11 (2003), Liquid Surveillance (with Zygmunt Bauman, 2013) and Surveillance after Snowden (2015). His most recent book is The Culture of Surveillance (Polity, 2018). David's work has been translated into more than 18 languages. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Sociological Association, Communication and Information Technology Section and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.