In yesterday’s Guardian Ross Anderson imagined himself as a professional in different spheres and gave a glimpse of what surveillance means wearing those different hats. So, the advertiser, police officer, lawyer, civil servant, doctor and banker “told” us how mass surveillance systems impact upon their respective responsibilities.
Anyone who still wishes to rely on the defence “if you’ve nothing to hide you’ve nothing to fear” will find Anderson’s piece a salutary introduction to surveillance studies.
What if we added some other professions? School teachers, at least particular figures such as Guidance Teachers, are going to have a significant role in mass surveillance should current Scottish Government proposals in the Children’s and Young People’s Bill come to fruition. Quite what “The Named Person” is going to be expected to do and what access to personal data concerning parents as well as children this member of the school staff will require to ensure children’s wellbeing is under discussion.
(As an aside, this is going to be the topic of a paper I will be presenting at a surveillance studies conference in Spain next year where I will be examining in detail the discussions at the Committee Stage of the Bill as it progresses through the Scottish Parliament.)
Perhaps we could add to Anderson’s list – what does surveillance look like from our respective professions?