Surveillance Impact Assessment

From Philosophy Now

Does Surveillance Make Us Morally Better?

These musings are intended to frame a set of questions: What is the likely impact of ubiquitous surveillance on our moral personalities? How might the advent of the surveillance society affect a person’s moral education and development? How does it alter the opportunities for moral growth? Does it render obsolete the Kantian emphasis on acting from a sense of duty as opposed to acting out of self-interest? Such questions fall under the rubric of a new field of research called Surveillance Impact Assessment.

In some contexts, surveillance helps keep us on track and thereby reinforces good habits that become second nature. In other contexts, it can hinder moral development by steering us away from or obscuring the saintly ideal of genuinely disinterested action.

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