Video Surveillance and the Right of Access: The empirical proof of panoptical asymmetries

Main Article Content

Robert Rothmann

Abstract

The interdisciplinary study presented here is about visual power relations in urban settings under video surveillance and the empirical assessment of one’s right of access to personal data as a central feature of privacy regulation. Referring to Garfinkel’s methodical approach of “breaching experiments”, a series of so-called subject access requests according to Austrian data protection law are carried out, with an overall number of 29 private video operators examined. The empirical focus lies on the immediate reaction of the data controllers and their formal way of handling and responding to such requests. The research shows that the subjective right of access is largely refused and undermined, with a series of strategies of denial to be identified. The legally grounded entitlement to access one’s personal data ultimately appears socially illegitimate and mostly not exercisable. The normative figure of the Panopticon shows up in the monitored routines of everyday life.

Article Details

How to Cite
ROTHMANN, Robert. Video Surveillance and the Right of Access: The empirical proof of panoptical asymmetries. Surveillance & Society, [S.l.], v. 15, n. 2, p. 222-238, may 2017. ISSN 1477-7487. Available at: <https://ojs.library.queensu.ca/index.php/surveillance-and-society/article/view/access>. Date accessed: 25 july 2017.
Keywords
Video Surveillance, CCTV, Panopticism, Sousveillance
Section
Articles