The Internet as a surveillance tool

With the semester coming to an end, I must say I’m going to miss this module. It brought to my attention such issues I’ve previously neglected or had little information about. Among my favourite topics can be mentioned Privacy and Surveillance.

❛ Surveillance is the business model of the Internet.

Bruce Schneier

We live in a world where privacy evolved from a fundamental right to an unattainable luxury, and surveillance has become synonymous with spying. It is understandable to give up on a certain part of our privacy in exchange to our security, but when enough is enough? The internet became a passive-aggressive digital territory where people’s intimacy is constantly injured by the websites’ intrusive privacy policies. Nowadays, for setting up an online account, an individual is almost forced to provide one’s personal information.

The internet’s invasive monitoring came to deny people’s right to privacy. Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. are monitoring tools programmed to gather data about people’s behaviour online. People’s personal information and other online data themselves became products sold ridiculously cheap to advertising companies, institutions or governments without our permission. Below it’s a link to an article containing instructions on how to find out what Google knows about you and how to delete that information: It’s also a depicting example of how the internet can be a surveillance tool.



  1. Surveillance is a topic I had not put much thought into prior to taking this module. I find it incredible reflecting on how many times I have blindly accepted terms and conditions that I am completely unaware of. I think I have been oblivious to how much of my actions on media platforms are regulated and seen by people without my recognition. You bring up a good point in your post about the internet in itself being a surveillance tool.

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  2. I agree with your idea that the Internet’s invasive monitoring is denying peoples rights. I have had a look at your article and have noticed that Google measures our hourly search activity and daily search activity. They also know our age, our income, probably where we are from and who knows what else.

    When the Internet started we all were posting and sharing all our information without even thinking about any consequences. However now, after this semester, i think about it in a more logical way. We can use social media and post our pictures, sharing information. However there is a limit, and now I know that I shouldn’t be posting my locations, phone number, address…etc.

    Companies target us this way to deliver advertising according to our target audience characteristics, and if we want to be able to buy, be part of a social media network or even look at some Internet website, we need to give up our information so that they can use it to target us. The only choice we have as an audience is use the internet and give up our privacy or not use the Internet at all and be out of the biggest network ever.

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  3. I’ve never actually taken surveillance seriously before this module – I really doubted the fact that somebody is really interested in my details. But it’s not about actual using, it’s about security, and I only realised it during Network Society and Media module. I can even say I became slightly less active online.

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