Privacy & Surveillance Resource Page Fall22

The syllabus is here. We will be reading a bunch of articles (see syllabus for details) and Jillian York’s book Silicon Values: The Future of Free Speech Under Surveillance Capitalism 

A good booklet on how many of our fundamental technologies work is McNamee et al, How the Internet Works: A guide for policy-makers. European Digital Rights. Also check out Julien Hopkins: How to Define Social Media – An Academic Summary.

  • Module 1: Introduction
  • Module 2: What is Privacy?
  • Module 3: History of Privacy/Surveillance
  • Module 4: Theories of Surveillance
  • Module 5: Privacy as Power
  • Module 6: Surveillance Culture 
  • Module 7: Sousveillance
  • Module 8: Interveillance
  • Module 9: Autoveillance
  • Module 10: Surveillance Capitalism
  • Module 11: Biometrics & Countersurveillance 
  • Module 12: Government online Surveillance
  • Module 13: Security theatre (Power in action)
  • Module 14: The Vulnerable


Module 1 Introduction

This is mostly a “getting to know you and the course” type of day but we will also begin talking about what privacy is, can be, and maybe should be.

Module 2 What is Privacy?

What is Privacy? It seems like an easy question but naturally when we start digging it is complex and elusinve. Here are some great resources: 

Check out The Privacy Paradox from Note to Self. It’s a series of 5 letters which include tips and a short podcast explaining the science, psychology, and tech behind each challenge.

This is a great guide by the Electronic Frontier Foundation Reasons Privacy Matters

Pearson J (2017 Digital Surveillance Is Class Warfare MotherBoard

Madden et al (2017) Privacy, Poverty and Big Data: A Matrix of Vulnerabilities for Poor AmericansData&Society

Eubanks (2014) Want to Predict the Future of Surveillance? Ask Poor Communities.


Module 3: History of Privacy/Surveillance

By now it should be clear that privacy is not fixed. This module will try to show examples of historical changes in privacy as exemplified through technological change. 

Additional Material

Ferenstein (2014) The Birth And Death Of Privacy: 3,000 Years of History Told Through 46 Images. Medium



Nothing to Hide – The documentary about surveillance and you (2017) from NOTHING TO HIDE documentary 2017 on Vimeo.

Module 4: Theories of Surveillance

Conover From GITMO to an American Supermax, The Horrors of Solitary Confinement.


Module 5: Privacy as Power

Module 6: Surveillance Culture 

Module 7: Sousveillance

  • Module 8: Interveillance
  • Module 9: Autoveillance
  • Module 10: Surveillance Capitalism
  • Module 11: Biometrics & Countersurveillance 
  • Module 12: Government online Surveillance
  • Module 13: Security theatre (Power in action)
  • Module 14: The Vulnerable


Feb 24             Culture, Clothing and the Gaze

Allen: Unpopular Privacy. Chapter 3 Modesty.

Scott Skinner-Thompson Performative Privacy

Bilefsky: France’s Burkini Debate Reverberates Around the World

Additional Material

de Casanova & Webb (2017). A Tale of Two Hoodies

Troy Patterson The Politics of the Hoodie

Shepard (2016) 5 reasons why surveillance is a feminist issue Gender IT

Mar 3              Bodies and Privacy

Avi Selk The ingenious and ‘dystopian’ DNA technique police used to hunt the ‘Golden State Killer’ suspect

Zimmer et al There s nothing really they can do with this information unpacking how users manage privacy boundaries for personal fitness information

Rani Molla Genetic testing is an inexact science with real consequences.

Additional Material

Bedoya (2016) The Color of Surveillance Slate

Oscapella, E. (2012). Genetic Privacy and Discrimination: An Overview of Selected Major Issues.

Krimsky, S. & Johnston, D. C. (2017) Ancestry DNA Testing and Privacy: A Consumer Guide. Council for Responsible Genetics

Ravenscraft How to Protect Your DNA Data Before and After Taking an at-Home Test

The Daily, New York Times Podcast: A New Way to Solve a Murder, Part 1 The Genetic Detectives. & Part 2: The Future of Genetic Privacy

Libby Copeland Who was she?A DNA test only opened new mysteries.

Podcast Kudos, leaderboards, QOMs: how fitness app Strava became a religion

Smiley A Brutal Murder, a Wearable Witness, and an Unlikely Suspect: Karen Navarra was a quiet woman in her sixties who lived alone. She was found beaten to death. The neighbors didn’t see anything. But her Fitbit did.

Mar 10 NO CLASS Mid-Semester Break

Mar 17              Home Privacy and Surveillance

Hansson – The Private Sphere from a Historical and Cultural Perspective.

Barros Home as a Legal Concept

Additional Material

Newell, Metoyer, & Moore (2015). Privacy in the Family.

Munro a & Ruth Madigan Privacy in the private sphere

Shapiro (1998). Places and spaces: The historical interaction of technology, home, and privacy.

ACLU Know Your Rights When Encountering Law Enforcement

Farb, R. L. (2002). The fourth amendment, privacy, and law enforcement. Popular Government, 13-19.

Stanley, J., Crump, C., & Speech, A. C. L. U. (2011). Protecting Privacy From Aerial Surveillance (Vol. 6, No. 6). American Civil Liberties Union. (December 2011).

Weingart, K. (2015) An Interview with Photographer Arne Svenson, PetaPixel, May 16.

Mar 24            Smart Homes and Digital Devices

Doty Oxymorons of privacy and surveillance in “smart homes”

Pridmore et al Intelligent Personal Assistants and the Intercultural Negotiations of Dataveillance in Platformed Households

Additional Material

Waddell, K. (2016) The Privacy Problem with Digital Assistants, The Atlantic, May 24

Astor (2017) Your Roomba May Be Mapping Your Home, Collecting Data That Could Be Shared. New York Times

Smart talking: are our devices threatening our privacy? – podcast

Mar 31            City Surveillance & Control by Design

Hendrix et al (2018) The Eyes of Law Enforcement in the New Panopticon: Police-Community Racial Asymmetry and the Use of Surveillance Technology

Braun et al Security and privacy challenges in smart cities

Van Zoonen (2016). Privacy concerns in smart cities.

Additional Material

Baldwin, P. C. (2014). Public privacy: Restrooms in American cities, 1869–1932. Journal of Social History, 48(2), 264-288.

Cavoukian, A. (2013). Surveillance, then and now: Securing privacy in public spaces. Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada.

Datatilsynet (2016) Tracking in Public Spaces: The use of WiFi, Bluetooth, beacons and intelligent video analytics.

Find a POPs Privately owned public spaces in New York

Mensel, R. E. (1991). “Kodakers Lying in Wait”: Amateur Photography and the Right of Privacy in New York, 1885-1915. American Quarterly, 43(1), 24-45.

Németh, J. (2009). Defining a public: The management of privately owned public space. Urban Studies, 46(11), 2463-2490.

Thomas, E. (2016). The Privacy Case for Body Cameras: The Need for a Privacy-Centric Approach to Body Camera Policymaking. Colum. JL & Soc. Probs., 50, 191.

Walz, C. & Brookins, D. S. (2016) Privacy in Public? A Look at Recent Efforts to Recognize Privacy Protections in Public Spaces, Communications Lawyer, Summer 2016.

Victor (2016) Study Urges Tougher Oversight for Police Use of Facial Recognition. The New York Times

Feeney (2017) When It Comes to Surveillance, Watch the Watchmen. New York Times

EFF Surveillance Self Defense

Podcast: The Crime Machine, Part I | Reply All – Gimlet Media

Podcast: The Crime Machine, Part II | Reply All – Gimlet Media

Apr 7               Protest and Control

Ullrich & Knopp Protesters’ reactions to video surveillance of demonstrations- counter-moves, security cultures, and the spiral of surveillance and counter-surveillance

Madison & Klang  Recognizing Everyday Activism: Understanding Resistance to Facial Recognition

Additional Material

Apr 14             Government online Surveillance

Additional Material

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRISM: A cheat sheet for the NSA’s unprecedented surveillance programs

Apr 21             Surveillance Capitalism – a new theory?

Zuboff The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism

Cinnamon Social Injustice in Surveillance Capitalism

Additional Material

Rabb What Is Surveillance Capitalism?

Apr 28             Social Surveillance, Social Media

Hernández-Santaolalla & Hermida Malicious Social Surveillance and Negative Implications in Romantic Relationships among Undergraduates

Mols & Pridmore When Citizens Are “Actually Doing Police Work”: The Blurring of Boundaries in WhatsApp Neighbourhood Crime Prevention Groups in The Netherlands

Additional Material

May 5              The Road ahead and closing