The panopticon is a 18th century prison design that allows all inmates to be watched at any time without them knowing when they are being watched. This allows a single guard to control a large population of inmates. In a panopticon, inmates develop the sense that they are always being watched whether or not a guard is actually watching them. It is an idea that has influenced the design of prisons for more than two centuries.
The panopticon is often compared to modern techniques of monitoring communication, information technology and public spaces. It is also relevant to the internet of things. With networked sensors such as cameras and microphones embedded into a wide array of devices, people tend to develop a sense that institutions are watching them. This leads to chilling effects such as self-censorship.
A 18th century prison design that allows inmates to be watched at any time without their knowledge.
A common analogy to modern privacy issues related to the widespread use of sensors such as cameras and the sense that privacy isn't protected.
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