It's not often that you get to witness the birth of a new philosophy. However, according to the UK Home Office, a new philosophy is at the heart of their new Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, published this month, and currently subject to a badly publicized consultation process. The name of this new philosophy? Surveillance by Consent.
An extended version of this piece is available on the No CCTV website.
Of course, the term is not really new, nor is it a philosophy. Rather, it is more like a piece of propaganda, a means of assuaging fears about increased surveillance. Surveillance, we are told, is by consent. We need not worry how consent is achieved or what it really means. We can rest easy knowing that the word "surveillance", which was previously considered controversial, now has a positive sounding partner: consent.