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Why are you watching? Video surveillance in organizations

Christina S. Hagen (Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Leila Bighash (Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Andrea B. Hollingshead (Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Sonia Jawaid Shaikh (Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Kristen S. Alexander (Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 3 April 2018

1919

Abstract

Purpose

Organizations and their actors are increasingly using video surveillance to monitor organizational members, employees, clients, and customers. The use of such technologies in workplaces creates a virtual panopticon and increases uncertainty for those under surveillance. Video surveillance in organizations poses several concerns for the privacy of individuals and creates a security-privacy dilemma for organizations to address. The purpose of this paper is to offer a decision-making model that ties in ethical considerations of access, equality, and transparency at four stages of video surveillance use in organizations: deployment of cameras and equipment, capturing footage, processing and storing data, and editing and sharing video footage. At each stage, organizational actors should clearly identify the purpose for video surveillance, adopt a minimum capability necessary to achieve their goals, and communicate decisions made and actions taken that involve video surveillance in order to reduce uncertainty and address privacy concerns of those being surveilled.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper proposes a normative model for ethical video surveillance organizational decision making based on a review of relevant literature and recent events.

Findings

The paper provides several implications for the future of dealing with security-privacy dilemmas in organizations and offers structured considerations for corporation leaders and decision makers.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for organizations to approach video surveillance with ethical considerations for stakeholder privacy while balancing security demands.

Originality/value

This paper offers a framework for decision-makers that also offers opportunities for further research around the concept of ethics in organizational video surveillance.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported in part by the US Department of Homeland Security Contract #2010-ST-061-RE0001-07.

Citation

Hagen, C.S., Bighash, L., Hollingshead, A.B., Shaikh, S.J. and Alexander, K.S. (2018), "Why are you watching? Video surveillance in organizations", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 274-291. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCIJ-04-2017-0043

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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