CME EVENT: Prof. David Lyon | Surveillance Rules! Who Needs Democracy and Transparency? 21st March 2019

March 4, 2019


 Current surveillance practices erode trusting relationships that are a basic requirement for society itself. In the C21st, surveillance expands and intensifies into a very complex global phenomenon, not limited to policing and national security. Data analytics and AI have become commonplace surveillance techniques. Surveillance is also corporate, seen both in data-gathering and analysis done by platforms and in outsourcing government administration and services to internet corporations. Ordinary users of platforms are implicated in surveillance in unprecedented ways, as those surveilled and as those who engage with surveillance themselves. In this context, trust is eroded in expanding ways, and with it, democracy, which depends on trust. The situation is complex, due to the changed conditions of possibility for trust, post-democratic practices of outsourcing and public-private partnerships, and an obsession with new modes of data capture and analysis. Non-values of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, speed and convenience trump human flourishing and the common good. New and different approaches are required to repair trust and recover democracy.”


Professor David Lyon FRSC FAcSS, Research Chair in Surveillance Studies and Professor of Sociology and of Law at Queen’s University, is a leading international figure in Surveillance Studies. He is Director of the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University, Ontario.


He has authored or edited 29 books and numerous articles and his work has been translated into more than 18 languages. The Culture of Surveillance: Watching as a Way of Life (2018) is his latest book, following Surveillance after Snowden (2015). He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Sociological Association, Communication and Information Technology Section and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.


Date: 21st March

Time: 6-8pm

Venue: Melbourne University Law School, Theatre G08


Register at:



Culture Media and Economy program at Monash University; The Institute for International Law & the Humanities at Melbourne Law School; Liquid Architecture

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