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      COVID-19—Extending Surveillance and the Panopticon

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          Abstract

          Surveillance is a core function of all public health systems. Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have deployed traditional public health surveillance responses, such as contact tracing and quarantine, and extended these responses with the use of varied technologies, such as the use of smartphone location data, data networks, ankle bracelets, drones, and big data analysis. Applying Foucault’s ( 1979) notion of the panopticon, with its twin focus on surveillance and self-regulation, as the preeminent form of social control in modern societies, we examine the increasing levels of surveillance enacted during this pandemic and how people have participated in, and extended, this surveillance, self-regulation, and social control through the use of digital media. Consideration is given to how such surveillance may serve public health needs and/or political interests and whether the rapid deployment of these extensive surveillance mechanisms risks normalizing these measures so that they become more acceptable and then entrenched post-COVID-19.

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          Most cited references 11

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                danielle.couch@monash.edu
                priscilla.robinson@latrobe.edu.au
                paul.komesaroff@monash.edu
                Journal
                J Bioeth Inq
                J Bioeth Inq
                Journal of Bioethical Inquiry
                Springer Singapore (Singapore )
                1176-7529
                1872-4353
                25 August 2020
                : 1-6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.1002.3, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7857, Monash Rural Health, , Monash University, ; 26 Mercy Street, Bendigo, Victoria 3550 Australia
                [2 ]GRID grid.1018.8, ISNI 0000 0001 2342 0938, School of Psychology and Public Health, , La Trobe University, ; Bundoora, 3086 Australia
                [3 ]Centre for the Study of Ethics in Medicine and Society, Building 1, 270 Ferntree Gully Road, Notting Hill, Victoria 3168 Australia
                [4 ]GRID grid.1002.3, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7857, The Alfred, , Monash University, ; Commercial Road, Melbourne, 3004 Victoria Australia
                Article
                10036
                10.1007/s11673-020-10036-5
                7445799
                32840859
                © Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2020

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

                Categories
                Symposium: COVID-19

                Ethics

                drones, covid-19, public health, surveillance, panopticon, foucault, smartphones

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