Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2007

Subjects

security; surveillance; privacy; identity

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between security, surveillance, privacy and identity, both in the context of legislation such as the Anti-terrorism Act and the PATRIOT Act, and also in the light of ongoing changes in how that personal information is gathered, processed and used. It is argued that prevailing notions of privacy — and the legal frameworks that aim to protect privacy interests — are ill-suited to defending individuals from an increasingly sophisticated array of surveillance and data processing techniques, which enable information to be acquired and shared at almost zero-cost and which threaten to establish the ‘categorical identity’ as the primary means by which we are known — to the state and, more disturbingly, to each other.

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