Mission

The mission of the Surveillance Studies Research Center (SSRC) is to facilitate scholarship and collaborative partnerships in the study of contemporary forms of surveillance, social monitoring, and data gathering. Surveillance Studies is a burgeoning, global, interdisciplinary field that is producing new and important theoretical and empirical understandings of human behavior. The only Center of its kind in the United States, the SSRC seeks to address one of society’s grand challenges for the 21st century.

News


NSF Grant Awarded

SSRC Director Bill Staples and SSRC Faculty Affiliates Perry Alexander and Drew Davidson have been awarded a $516,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Program on Secure & Trustworthy Cyberspace. Building on the research team’s previous NSF EAGER grant, they will continue to study the day-to-day use patterns and experiences of those who do not have their own computer to access digital resources must rely on public computing systems such as those offered by public libraries. This population faces a unique set of challenges: their computing lives are resource-limited, transient, and less private and secure than those who own their computers and access the Web through broadband at home. Public Internet users engagement with library computers is somewhat analogous to the way people experiencing physical homelessness relate to a temporary shelter: the facility may provide basic necessities and be an essential resource for them, but it is not a substitute for the many benefits and control people have in their personal home. This project seeks to understand and mitigate the challenges faced by people who must use public resources to connect to the Internet and fully use its resources. A key contribution will be the development of a hybrid software-hardware prototype device that will allow a person to have a seamless, secure computing session carried out and maintained on the device.
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Cover photo of book titled Metric Culture: Ontologies of Self-Tracking Practices

SSRC Director Bill Staples has published a chapter entitled, “Real-Time Grade Books and the Quantified Student,” in the volume, Metric Culture: Ontologies of Self-Tracking Practices (2018) edited by Btihaj Ajana, Kings College, London.




A documentary film, "Surveillance Culture" co-directed by Drs. Btihaj Ajana and Anders Albrechtslund features SSRC Director Bill Staples. The film was produced during Bill’s appointment as Visiting Professor at Aarhus University, DK in the summer on 2018.
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New Scholarship

Under Surveillance: Being Watched in Modern America. By Lewis Randolph (University of Texas Press, 2017)

Under Surveillance: Being Watched in Modern America by Randolph Lewis

 

Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices. By Toby Beauchamp (Duke University Press, 2019)

Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices

 

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. By Shoshana Zuboff (Public Affairs, 2019).

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power