Who Watches the Watchers? Towards an Ethic of Surveillance in a Digital Age

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Abstract

The essay considers contemporary surveillance strategies from a Christian ethical perspective. It discusses first surveillance as a form of speech in the light of biblical themes of truthfulness, then draws on principles of subsidiarity and solidarity. Surveillance is dignified as human work whilst its dehumanizing outcomes are challenged. It is concluded that surveillance must contribute to human dignity and that accountability for data must follow a revised model of subsidiarity, appropriate to network rather than linear socio-political relationships. Mutual responsibility for one another's data-image is derived from solidarity which, further, offers a response to the angst of a culture of suspicion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-381
JournalStudies in Christian Ethics
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

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