Uncounted data-bases, CCTV cameras, the Internet full of digital traces, information from credit cards, posts on social media, intelligent homes, telephones remembering our every step… Virtually every time we lift a finger we create new set of data that is recorded, exchanged, and collated. This is how surveillance begins, and the capacity to predict our decisions and to monitor our behavior.
Step by step we are lulled by ever newer forms of surveillance. In the name of comfort or a sense of security we surrender ever more freedom. Sometimes of our own will, sometimes under the pressure of the market or the state. Since you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to hide, right? After all, this is all for your own safety (comfort, savings). So what’s the problem?
In believing that we have more to gain than to lose, it’s easy to succumb to such manipulation. Yet what’s at stake is nothing less than freedom itself. This is not only abstract value, but above all the real capacity to decide for ourselves about our own lives.
It is our conviction that surveillance should have its limits. It should not be applied without our knowledge, nor outside societal control and legal frameworks. New technologies should serve people, and not be used against them. The Panoptykon Foundation arose from the belief that negative social phenomenon should not be ignored, along with the belief that – thanks to knowledge, commitment, and determination – we can change the world around us and make sure that surveillance is curtailed.