Based on the articles provided by my prof and some further readings, I was able to better grasp this new concept of ‘Sousveillance’. Above is my summary on the similarities and differences between ‘Sousveillance’ vs. ‘Surveillance’.
Articles retrieved from:
In my opinion, the primary difference between sousveillance and surveillance is the direction of watch. It is also the main reason for the disparity in their function and other areas subsequently.
Even though surveillance comes with many negative connotations such as the lost of freedom and privacy, personal information leakage and identity thief, I hold firmly to its necessity. I see surveillance and sousveillance as the most powerful weapon to ensure social order and security in general. It deters the malicious from committing a crime because of the severe consequences they need to face if a footage is used against them as concrete evidence. In countless situations, results of ‘watch’ have helped in enforcing rules and regulations. Be it for investigation purpose, tracking records or even as proof of absence.
I cannot imagine how chaotic the wolrld can become if not for surveillance.
Sousveillance is a fairly new concept, developed without a clear intention or direction. Perhaps I can attribute it to the rise of individualism. In modern society, source of power is slowly shifting from minor elites to the mass. The idea of democracy has never been so prevalent. We want the world to see what we’ve got to express, be it through the channel of art or personal discoveries. When individuals attain power, they are also more defiant when their rights are violated. We were quiet before, but we refused to remain silenced. We became more confident to stand up for ourselves and question the authority. We demand transparency as one the principal of governance. We are curious about what we don’t know and we are not hesitant to find out. Perhaps this is the primary reason for this act of ‘watching from below’.