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Expectations of Privacy in the Age of Surveillance: Implications for Democracy

Political Authority, Social Control and Public Policy

ISBN: 978-1-78756-049-9, eISBN: 978-1-78756-048-2

Publication date: 4 July 2019


We live in an age of unparalleled access to personal data. Technological advances that seem second nature today allow for the mass accumulation of personal information by even the smallest of companies. The same technology also can be used directly by the state to accumulate mass information on its citizens. In the hands of government law enforcement officials, these surveillance advances also can be used to greatly enhance the state’s ability to exercise social control – a circumstance that has both positive and negative connotations. This chapter discusses the increasingly important confluence of privacy rights, surveillance, and social control as seen from a constitutional standpoint.

After years of limiting the expectations of privacy that citizens may have in their day-to-day lives, several recent Supreme Court decisions have attempted to take account of the privacy expectations held by individuals in today’s ever-evolving technological world, and in doing so have limited the ability of law enforcement to engage in surveillance without first obtaining a warrant. Yet more needs to be done. Specifically, the author argues that the law of standing must be updated to permit judicial claims by individuals who challenge the legality and constitutionality of comprehensive surveillance programs.



Bricker, B. (2019), "Expectations of Privacy in the Age of Surveillance: Implications for Democracy", Rabe-Hemp, C.E. and Lind, N.S. (Ed.) Political Authority, Social Control and Public Policy (Public Policy and Governance, Vol. 31), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 171-185.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, by Benjamin Bricker