Little brothers are watching you: a review of David Lyon's 'Surveillance Society'

Ball, Kirstie S. (2001). Little brothers are watching you: a review of David Lyon's 'Surveillance Society'. Information Technology & People, 14(4) pp. 406–419.



David Lyon’s Surveillance Society: Monitoring Everyday Life is a welcome and timely extension of his earlier book, The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance Society (1994). I remember reading the latter on its publication in 1994, when I was embarking upon a PhD about surveillance in organizations. At the time, I had not quite realised the significance of the growth in IS and their corresponding infrastructures in terms of surveillance and, on finishing the book, I did not leave the house unless I had to, paid for everything in cash, and flitted from bush to bush when shopping in my local high street, for several weeks afterwards. Now I am older, wiser (arguably), and more cynical, the extent to which citizens of the Western world are surveilled does not surprise me any more, but having worked with surveillance-interested academics from across the spectrum of the social sciences, I am still left awestruck at the audacity some organizations have in the depth of personal data they attempt to collect and use to perpetuate themselves. After having read this book, the feeling remains.

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