Surveillance, Information Ethics and Privacy

This research group is preoccupied with questions that arise from the conception of a present-day surveillance society. We are concerned with historical, philosophical, ethical, aesthetic, cultural, and con/textual dimensions of information, information and communication technology, digital media, and information and cultural institutions.  We conduct critical analyses and empirical investigations of the political, ethical, and conceptual ramifications generated by the digital information society. In short, we are interested in surveillance as a socio-cultural phenomenon that emerges and takes shape within a distinct historical context.

Digital technologies permeate our societies, economies, cultures and identities. Data and information about individuals are collected, stored, and processed creating infrastructures of surveillance. The shift towards the datafication of everyday life dissolves traditional structures of power and creates new networks of control which requires new analytical concepts and understandings. In the surveillance society data is transformed into a commodity, bought and sold by e.g. data brokers. It is a society where public institutions see data as a means for streamlining welfare services leading to increased control.
The individual’s opportunities and limits in society are increasingly defined by algorithmic decision-making with an assumption of data and information as objective reflections of the “analogue” individual and natural world. Thus, the digitalization and commodification of personal data and people’s participation in digital data processes generate questions in relation to conceptualizations of information and data, as well as human agency, ethical dimensions of data handling in state, businesses, and private organizations, etc.
The links between surveillance, privacy, and human autonomy and agency raises questions about how people experience, interpret, and navigate a surveillance society.

The group curiously engages in the members’ individual research interests and together we work to explore the nexus of surveillance, information, ethics and privacy.



Externally funded research project


Lapenta, Gry HasselbalchPhD fellow +45 353-21363E-mail
Mai, Jens-ErikHead of Department +45 93 56 59 80E-mail
Skouvig, LauraAssociate professor +45 353-21320E-mail
Søe, Sille ObelitzPostdoc +45 353-21409E-mail
Søilen, Karen Louise GrovaPhD fellow +45 353-30228E-mail