Surveillance as Social Sorting: Privacy, Risk, and Digital Discrimination

Surveillance as Social Sorting: Privacy, Risk, and Digital Discrimination

Surveillance as Social Sorting: Privacy, Risk, and Digital Discrimination

Surveillance as Social Sorting: Privacy, Risk, and Digital Discrimination

Synopsis

This text examines some crucial aspects of surveillance processes with a view to showing what constitutes them, why the growth of surveillance is accelerating and what is really at stake personally and politically.

Excerpt

Most of the chapters of this book were originally papers presented at an international research workshop at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, in May 2001. It was a highly collegial and intellectually exciting event, which we hope comes across in the book too. The workshop was organized by the Surveillance Project, a cross-disciplinary initiative based in the Sociology Department at Queen's, and funded in its first three years by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The workshop was also supported by the fact that several participants have a National Science Foundation grant for their research on Intelligent Transportations Systems. Details of the Surveillance Project may be found at: http://qsilver.queensu.ca/sociology/Surveillance/intro.htm. The Project is also a founding partner in the on-line journal and resource center, Surveillance and Society (surveillance-and-society.org).

As editor I am deeply grateful for the help of all authors in preparing their chapters for publication, and to the team in the Surveillance Project for providing such a stimulating context in which this work was done. My graduate students, Jason Pridmore, Tamy Superle, and Joran Weiner were particularly helpful in making the workshop work well. A big thank you is due to Anna Dekker, my editorial assistant, for her tireless and cheerful work on the details, and I am also grateful to Edwina Welham for her help at Routledge. I'm always aware of the loving support of Sue, but it's been more apparent than ever during the preparation of this book, because a fracturing fall on hidden ice in the last months of editorial work put me first in hospital, then on crutches. sdg

Thanks to Blackwell Publishing for permission to reprint the (now revised and updated) article by Dorothy Nelkin and Lori Andrews as Chapter 5 of this book.

David Lyon, Kingston, Ontario . . .

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