Privacy, Identity and Security

    In many respects, this new idea of ‘national security’ closely resembles the German concepts of Staatssicherheit or Staatsschutz. I am indebted to Eric Topfler for the observation that one additional consequence of this all-embracing approach to security is the tactical, as well as organisational, convergence of the police and the military. As security becomes a more important part of the national agenda, not only do we see a sharing of information and the development of stronger organisational links between the police and the security services, but also domestic security bodies ‘borrowing’ weapons and tactics from the military and others more traditionally associated with external, international defence.

23  See, for example, Stanley, J and Steinhardt, B, ‘Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society’ (ACLU Technology and Liberty Program, 2003).

24  Galison and Minow (2005) 258.

25  For a defence of this particular view of privacy, see Fried, C, An Anatomy of Values (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1970); and Parent, W, ‘Privacy, Autonomy, and Self-Concept’ (1983) 24 American Philosophical Quarterly 81–9. A critique of this approach to privacy, or at least Parent’s account of it, can be found in DeCew, J, In Pursuit of Privacy: Law, Ethics, and the Rise of Technology (Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1997).

26  This problem has not been confined to the state but also confronts private organisations. In order to highlight the relationship between state security and surveillance, however, in this chapter the primary focus will be on states and their attempts to document the identity of individuals.

27  See Higgs, E, ‘The Rise of the Information State: The Development of Central State Surveillance of the Citizen in England, 1500–2000’ (2001) 14(2) Journal of Historical Sociology 175–97; and Torpey, JC, The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship and the State (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000).

28  Rose, N, Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1999) 240–1.

29  Gilliom, J, ‘Struggling with Surveillance: Resistance, Consciousness and Identity’ in K Haggerty and R Ericson (eds), The New Politics of Surveillance and Visibility (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2006) 111–40.

30  For an example of such an account, see Davies, S, Big Brother: Britain’s Web of Surveillance and the New Technological Order (London, Pan Books, 1996).

31  Quote taken from a Wired Magazine interview with Jeff Bezos. See Anderson, C, ‘The Zen of Jeff Bezos’, Wired Magazine, January 2005, available at

32  See, inter alia, Ricoeur, P, ‘Reflections on a New Ethos for Europe’ (1995) 21(5) Philosophy and Social Criticism 6.

33  Dauenhauer, B, ‘Paul Ricoeur’ in EN Zalta (ed), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Winter 2005 edn, available at

34  Franko Aas, K, ‘From Narrative to Database: Technological Change and Penal Culture’ (2004) 6(4) Punishment and Society 386.

35  See Norris, C, ‘Algorithmic Surveillance’ (1995) 20 Criminal Justice Matters 7–8; and Norris, C, Moran, J and Armstrong, G, ‘Algorithmic Surveillance: The Future of Automated Visual Surveillance’ in C Norris, J Moran and G Armstrong (eds), Surveillance, Closed Circuit Television and Social Control (Ashgate, Aldershot, 1998) 255–76.


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