Defining the sensor society

Mark Andrejevic, Mark Burdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


The proliferation of embedded and distributed sensors marks the increasing passive-ication of interactivity. Devices such as smart phones, cameras, drones, and a growing array of environmental sensors (both fixed and mobile) and interactive online platforms have come to permeate daily life in technologically equipped societies. Consequently, we are witnessing a shift from targeted, purposeful, and discrete forms of information collection to always-on, ubiquitous, opportunistic ever-expanding forms of data capture. The increased use of sensors marks important changes to our understandings of surveillance, information processing, and privacy. In this article, we explore the transformations associated with the emerging sensing environment. The notion of a sensor society provides a conceptual basis for understanding the characteristics of emerging forms of monitoring and control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-36
Number of pages18
JournalTelevision and New Media
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • data mining
  • power
  • privacy
  • sensors
  • smart phones
  • surveillance

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