engage the development of surveillance techniques as a response of capitalists to continuing crises of over- and underproduction. As the logic of capital is extended to more and more activities, surveillance facilitates coordination and control.44 Anthony Giddens, who extends the analyses of surveillance, combines the grand theories begun by Michel Foucault and Max Weber with empirical data in an effort to cross these distinctions.45 Scholars influenced by Giddens have focused on surveillance as an aspect of rationalization within government46 and corporate bureaucracies.47

In terms of understanding how individuals perceive surveillance processes, Irwin Altman’s work reflects a psychological emphasis and contributes not only concepts and measures of desired and realized levels of privacy, but also behavioral insights that are useful in cataloging the resources available to individuals that allow them to exercise more or less control over the boundaries between themselves and others.48

Finally, and in addition to his identification and assessment of important trends, critical events, and important distinctions between segments of the population (Section 2.1.2), Westin’s analyses have provided insights into the ways in which privacy policies emerge in response to public concerns. But critics have suggested that for a number of reasons, including the influence of corporate sponsors and a concern with assessing the public’s response to the issue of the day, Westin’s empiricism has stretched its theoretical foundations beyond its useful limits.49

The work within sociology on surveillance (and, by extension, its relationship to privacy) considers the effect of surveillance on individuals and society. These effects can occur even in the absence of actual surveillance if the individuals believe that they are being observed—these are intangible effects in the sense that they affect individuals’ states of mind, but are no less real. This feeds into the worries about the impact of tech-


Frank Webster and Kevin Robins, Information Technology: A Luddite Analysis, Ablex, 1986.


See, for example, Anthony Giddens, The Nation State and Violence: Volume Two of a Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism, Polity Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1985. This work integrates an understanding of bureaucracy from Max Weber (see Reinhard Bendix, Max Weber, an Intellectual Portrait, Doubleday, 1960) and panoptic surveillance from Michel Foucault (Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, Vintage Books, 1979).


Christopher Dandeker, Surveillance Power and Modernity, Polity Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1990.


Oscar H. Gandy, Jr., The Panoptic Sort: A Political Economy of Personal Information, Westview, 1993.


Stephen T. Margulis, “On the Status and Contribution of Westin’s and Altman’s Theories of Privacy,” Journal of Social Issues 59(2):411-429, 2003.


Oscar H. Gandy, Jr., “The Role of Theory in the Policy Process: A Response to Professor Westin,” pp. 99-106 in Charles Firestone and Jorge Reina Schement, eds., Towards an Information Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, The Aspen Institute, 1995.

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