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The Panoptic Sort – A Political Economy of Personal Information - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Panoptic Sort: A Political Economy of Personal Information

Oscar H. Gandy Jr.


The Panoptic Sort was published in 1993. Its focus was on privacy and surveillance. But unlike the majority of publications addressing these topics in the United States at the time that were focused on the privacy concerns of individuals, especially those related to threats associated with government surveillance, that book sought to direct the public toward the activities of commercial firms. The Panoptic Sort was intended to help us all to understand just what was at stake when the bureaucracies of government and commerce gathered, processed, and made use of an almost unlimited amount of per ... More

Keywords: : artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous devices, classification and discrimination, collective agency, corporate bureaucracies, government bureaucracies, democracy, privacy and surveillance, public-private partnerships

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780197579411
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197579411.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Oscar H. Gandy Jr., author
Emeritus Professor, Annenberg School of Communication, Pennsylvia University