Surveillance and the impossible search for ideal behaviour

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Information and communication technology and the internet created
unprecedented opportunities for collecting “big data” and apply it to surveillance
and influence the behaviour of citizens, for instance in their roles of voters, customers, partners and workers. There is a growing risk that data on these different roles is exchanged and combined for which it was not collected. Surveillance may be defended from the perspective of law and order, protection of safety and health, and economic development, but it may also impact negatively on several United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be attained by 2030. Being one of the crucial issues in the world today, it comes as no surprise that the topic is being studied by lawyers, urbanists, sociologists, computer scientists, political scientists and others. However, criminologists have until now mainly looked at surveillance in the context of preventing and detecting crime and terrorism from a “what happens and what works” angle. This chapter will apply a broad perspective by taking the
social construction of deviance as a starting point and addressing the consequences of the definition for those who do not live up to the ideal, in terms of criminalisation, social exclusion and other potential effects, keeping in mind the context of the UN’s development goals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrime prevention and justice in 2030
Subtitle of host publicationThe UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
EditorsHelmut Kury, Slawomir Redo
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-56227-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-56226-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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