You looking at me? Society under surveillance

Irish citizens are subject to mass surveillance by the state, by their employers and by social media companies. While steps have been taken to protect our privacy, the law is not moving fast enough, writes Dr David Cowan

8th September, 2019

In the 1700s, English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham developed the panopticon, a design allowing all inmates of a prison to be observed by one security guard. The inmates can’t tell they are being watched, but they act as though constantly under observation. Ireland has its own panopticon in Dublin, the east wing of Kilmainham Gaol, which was opened in 1864.

What Bentham could not foresee was the possibility of a modern panopticon...

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