This module introduces students to the basic concepts used in the study of privacy and surveillance and provides a comprehensive theoretical grounding in the subject matter. The subject provides a view of the historical trajectory of surveillance, including different views on how totalizing and centralized it is. In addition, the module discusses data protection and its relation to privacy and surveillance, and gives an introduction to ways that surveillance has been conducted ‘from below’ (sousveillance) and in the pursuit of accountability (counterveillance).



– The relationship between privacy, surveillance and data protection

– History and Sociology of surveillance: the Panoptic and beyond

– Surveillance dimensions: (institutional, corporate, interpersonal)

– Social relations and values under surveillance

– Resistance strategies: sousveillance and counterveillance

– Privacy, security and transparency

– Privacy Advocacy





Foucault, Michel. (1977). Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, translated by A. Sheridan. New York: Vintage.

Gandy, O. H. (1993). The Panoptic Sort: A Political Economy of Personal Information, Boulder, CO: Westview.

Lyon, David. (1994). The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance Society, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Lyon, D. (2001). Surveillance Society: Monitoring Everyday Life, Buckingham: Open University Press.

Finn, Rachel, David Wright and Michael Friedewald, (2013). “Seven Types of Privacy”, in Serge Gutwirth, Ronald Leenes, Paul De Hert et al., European data protection: coming of age?, Springer: Dordrecht.

Mathiesen, Thomas. (1997). “The Viewer Society: Michel Foucault’s ‘Panopticon’ Revisited,” Theoretical Criminology 1(2), 215-234.

Murakami Wood, David. (2009). “The ‘Surveillance Society’: Questions of History, Place and Culture,” European Journal of Criminology, 6(2): 179–94.