When we imagine surveillance, then comes the mind the image of a camera, an observer behind the monitors. It is a model naturalized in the twentieth century, which with the advent of the big date, is becoming obsolete.

The surveillance model of Benthan’s Panopticon, described by Foucault (2014) in “Vigiar e Punir”, is based on the see-seen pair, from a central observation point, with the vigilant having ample vision of the watched and this no view of the watcher, thus assuming his watchfulness.

With the emergence of mobility and surveillance capitalism (Shoshana Zuboff, 2015), new systematizations of surveillance models have emerged. Zigmunt Bauman (2013) in “Vigilância Líquida”, presents the personal Panopticon model, where the individual becomes vigilant of himself and his peers, carrying his own Panopticon, materialized as his smartphones and connected devices. What Bauman describes, dialogues with what Fernanda Bruno (2013), in “Máquinas de ver, Modo de Ser. Vigilância Tecnologia e Subjetividade” describes as Distributed Surveillance, which takes away the centrality of surveillance, main characteristic of the Panopticon.

Sandra Braman (2006) in the book “Change of State – Information, Policy, and Power” presents Panspectron as the model of surveillance appropriate to the advent of the big data. According to the author, the focus of Panspectron is not the individual in particular, its focus is on the data, and its focal action is in response to patterns.

Extracted from: “Blind surveillance, what the digital footprints can reveal about the individual” – Full translated article is on the way, please return to this page soon, or follow me at Researchgate.


BAUMAN, Z. Vigilância Líquida. In: MEDEIROS, C. A. (trad.). [s.l.]: Zahar, 2014. 160 p. ISBN: 978-8537811566.

BRAMAN, Sandra. Change of State – Information, Policy, and Power. Nature Publishing Group. London, England: The MIT Press, 2006. 570 p. ISBN: 9780262025973.

BRUNO, Fernanda. Máquinas de ver, modos de ser: vigilância, tecnologia e subjetividade. 1 ed. Porto Alegre: Sulina, 2013. ISBN: 9788520506820.

CARIBÉ, J. C. R. Vigilância cega, o que as pegadas digitais podem revelar sobre o indivíduo. In: II Simpósio Internacional Network Science. Rio de Janeiro, 2018.

FOUCAULT, M. Vigiar e Punir o nascimento da prisão. 29 ed. São Paulo: Editora Vozes, 2004. 266 p. ISBN: 8532605087.

ZUBOFF, S. Big other: Surveillance capitalism and the prospects of an information civilization. Journal of Information Technology, [s.l.], v. 30, no 1, p. 75–89, 2015. ISBN: 02683962, ISSN: 14664437, DOI: 10.1057/jit.2015.5.