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Surveillance is the use of IT to monitor the actions of people. For example, monitoring may be used to
track, record and assess employees’ performance. It can be used to support claims for promotion or to
ensure that employees follow the organization’s internet policy appropriately.

See ITGSOpedia Surveillance page


Gift of Fire 2.2.4 Video Surveillance & Face Recognition (pp 68-70)
GOF "Monitoring Employee Sysrtems" (pp. 298-304)

News Items

  • City gets crime detecting CCTV
    • 152 CCTV (Closed Circuit TeleVision) cameras are installed in Portsmouth UK
    • They are used to monitor the streets
    • "a speeding car being driven around an empty car park could be a joy rider or someone running through a deserted shopping precinct late at night might be a vandal" the operators then decide whether or not it is necessary to call the police
    • Raises a huge concern upon Privacy and Anonymity
    • Some believe that this is ethically incorrect to monitor others, yet others don't really mind since "they have done nothing wrong"
    • Advantage: Reduced theft rate, traffic conjunction
    • Disadvantage: People are being surveilled, possible exposure of private information

  • Prison without walls
    • A monitoring company, Exauctrack AT tracks the criminals who are released from the prison via GPS.
    • They use an anklet or a band to track the criminal.
    • the band warns the criminal if the criminal gets close to the place where he or she is not allowed to go.
    • E.g. for sex offenders, the band warns when they go to the playground or the kindergarden.
    • If something happens on the band, the criminal can be sent back to the prison.
    • Advantages: Reduces crime rate or prevents second offender, creates jobs (monitoring job), criminals can get freedom earlier.
    • Disadvantages: Costs, Privacy of the criminal.

  • Appeals court ruling allows government to use GPS to track people's moves
    • The US government allows agents to sneak onto a person’s property
    • Which means they can settle a GPS device on someone's vehicle, and track their every movements they make.
    • And people do not know about this.
    • The advantage is that they can avoid some crimes by tracking the car of suspicious citizen or criminal
    • The disadvantage is that maybe media reporters will be able to track some famous people's car and record where they go during their private time etc.

(Picture of GPS car tracking device)

  • Chinese blog purge under party pressure
    • The government is watching people's blog and comments.
    • If they find someone writing aggressive comment or blog post, the government will delete user and all thing that person wrote.

  • Smart home monitors hygiene habits
    • Toilet, sink, soap and toothpaste are all wired up to a central computer
    • This is for Dr. Val Curtis to monitor her family's hygiene habits for her research.
    • When a toothpaste is used, the sensor knows it is used due to the movement.
    • This has to do with surveillance. Although all her family agreed on this, guests coming to this house may not realize that they are being watched.
    • Some people visiting her house might not like themselves being watched.



  • Google pressed on WiFi snooping
  • Google Street View was supposed to log the locations of wifi hotspots, as it gathered photos and images of the road.
  • Google included code in the Google Street View software for collecting payload data, as a result causing data passing between unsecured hotspots and and personal hotspots.
  • 38 US states are pressing Google to release the names of the people who created the code.