“Begrudgingly honest because we might be surveilled?”

A drawing of a prison built as a panopticon with all cells visible from the centre.

The Plans of the Panopticon

O’Reilly Community are hosting an online conference on “Data, Crime, and Conflict”, which I’m attending at the rather unhealthy hour of 3:30am on the morning of January the 8th (it’s better for you if you’re in the UK or US). Here’s an extract of the text:

A world of sensors gives us almost complete surveillance. Every mobile device tracks moves, forming a digital alibi or new evidence for the prosecution. And with the right data, predictions look frighteningly like guilt.

How does a data-driven, connected world deal with crime, conflict, and peacekeeping? Will we be prisoners in a global Panopticon, begrudgingly honest because we might be surveilled? Or will total transparency even the balance between the enforcer and the citizen?

Join a lineup of thinkers and technologists for this free online event as we look at the ways data is shaping how we police ourselves, from technological innovations to ethical dilemmas.

 I’ve been interested in the possible role and expansion (and the implications) of the panopticon since first reading about it. I even wrote a short story once to explore a global society where the removal of privacy had not been the trip down into dystopia that we always expect it to be. (This doesn’t mean that I believe that it is a panacea – I just like writing stories!) I’m looking forward to seeing what the speakers have to say. They claim that there are limited places but I managed to sign up today so it’s probably not too late.