Surveillance in everyday life

20 February 2012

Surveillance is about more than hidden camera or CCTV, as this international conference will explore
Surveillance is about more than hidden camera or CCTV, as this international conference will explore

Topics to be covered in the Surveillance and/in Everyday Life: Monitoring Pasts, Presents and Futures international conference include surveillance in the home, opinion mining on the internet, private investigators, CCTV cameras, investigative journalism, loyalty cards, DNA swabs, RFID tags, Web 2.0 platforms and protocols, and internet cache cookies.

The international conference will be held at the University of Sydney on 20th and 21st February 2012 and will draw together more than 70 experts from around the world to discuss a range of technological developments and related social implications.

Professor David Lyon, Queen's University, Canada is the keynote speaker.

Dr Gavin Smith, convenor of The University of Sydney's Surveillance and Everyday Life Research Group, states: "This event is the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and one of the world's largest conferences on surveillance. Our programme includes a rich diversity of papers and perspectives on how surveillance technologies are both transforming organisations and what it means to be human in the contemporary world."

"Intimate and mundane moments of everyday life are increasingly captured and then stored on recording devices, before being used by organisations in the construction and allocation of digital citizenry identities. This process can have major consequences for our sense of privacy, liberty and personhood."

Peter Marks, one of the speakers and member of the research group, says many people have a limited understanding of surveillance.

"Tell someone they're under surveillance and chances are they will look around for hidden cameras," he says.

"But surveillance is now far more varied and integrated within contemporary life than anything depicted by George Orwell in 1984.

"For example, what links recent events such as the government's plan to introduce body scanners at airports with the uprising in Syria, the public floating of Facebook, the US presidential campaign, school lunches at Artarmon Primary School, and Channel Nine's decision to reboot Big Brother in a new family-friendly form?"

"Surveillance is the common element."

Event details
Surveillance and/in Everyday Life: Monitoring Pasts, Presents & Futures Conference
When: 9am-6pm, February 20 - 21, 2012
Where: Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney
Media contact: Jacqueline Chowns, University of Sydney Media office, 0434 605 018, or