Research Output

Contra Bentham: ethical information policy in the PanopticEon

  The article addresses the problem of surveillance within the framework of ethical information policy. Jeremy Bentham’s plan for a panoptic penitentiary is subjected to forensic analysis, using primary as well as published sources. The panopticon, it is argued, remains a key model of contemporary and emergent surveillance, as foil rather than exemplar. Michel Foucault’s influential reading of Bentham is defended against recent detractors in the field of surveillance studies. A new descriptor, the PanopticEon, is then introduced for the surveillance-infested age into which the world has entered. The argument concludes with brief reflections on strategies for maintaining privacy as an indispensable component of the good information society

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 May 2017

  • Publication Status:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    302 Social interaction

  • Funders:

    Arts & Humanities Research Council


Duff, A. S., & Bentham, C. (2017). Contra Bentham: ethical information policy in the PanopticEon. Journal of Information Ethics, 26(1), 93-111



Ethical information policy, privacy, information society,

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