Examining the ethical and moral dilemmas associated with surveillance technology

Level: Undergraduate | Grade: 2.1 | Approx. Word Count: 2,400

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Overview

Over recent decades, the scale of digital surveillance technology devices that impact on the lives of individuals and social groups has expanded at an incredible rate. The latest of these surveillance devices are able to perform their activities in both an overt and covert manner. It is the conducting of surveillance without the knowledge and/or full understanding of the indivdual that has given rise to ethical and moral concerns regarding their implementation

It has been noted in a recent report that there "is one CCTV camera for every 14 citizen" in the UK (Bell 2006: 1). However, in addition to this technology, there a number of other digital technology systems that are designed to gather visual and practical data related to the lives of citizens, which can then be used for both commercial or public service purposes. The current study reviews the ethical and moral issues that it has been argued can result for this form of technology, and considers how these can best be addressed to protect the rights of the individual.