Freedom or Safety, the Dilemma of Technology-Based Surveillance Systems in the Context of E-Government Applications: A Case Study of Citizens' Perceptions on the Surveillance in Aydin– Turkey

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:24
Location: Hörsaal 48 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Ali Erdem AKGUL, Adnan Menderes University, Turkey
“Surveillance” is one of the highly examined topics of today. It is not a new practice and specific to these days; but it has come to the fore more with the development of technological tools. Depending on the development trend of information technologies showing a boundless ascending, all daily life and social relations both in private and public areas have been affected by this process. The problem of surveillance is seen as a topic in the interest of sociology because it affects the regulation of the society.

As also Foucault puts in a striking way, the concept of surveillance means “a systematic investigation or monitoring of one or more person’s communication or action” and it has gained a special importance in parallel with the development process of technology-based systems in recent years. New technologies increase the potential for surveillance.

In this context, this paper aims to assess following questions: Do information technologies strengthen citizens ‘position` against state more? Does the society get a more democratic governance due to the E–government applications? Or is it vice versa? Could people be tracked, be monitored and be received under surveillance easier? Is the tendency to be able to budge from some rights and freedom seen in question of “security”? When the “security” is in question, the “consent” state for budging from personal freedom and privacy will be analyzed.

Examining the surveillance matter due to technology-based systems is a sociological necessity. With this study which is based on field research, it is attempted to put forward how this subject matter is perceived by the citizens. The paper will draw on quantitative questionnaire (N 650) in Aydın (South-West Turkey).