Cornell University
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Surveillance and Privacy

INFO 4250

Fall. 3 credits. 

Prerequisite: INFO 1200, or graduate standing, or permission of instructor. 

K. Levy.

This course explores the social, legal, and ethical facets of surveillance in modern life. Newinformation technologies facilitate data collection at unprecedented scales, and reaching across multiple domains. We explore the history and theory of data collection for purposes of social and political control, and how privacy is conceptualized and deployed in response to surveillant systems. We discuss how surveillance and privacy are situated in law and culture; the emergence of surveillance in law enforcement, workplaces, institutions, families, and self-tracking contexts; and the relationships among surveillance, power, and marginalization of vulnerable groups. We consider avenues through which surveillance is resisted, including technological and policy-based design strategies to mitigate the effects of data collection.