The work of being watched: Interactive media and the exploitation of self-disclosure

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


Recognizing that privacy rights are complicit in the very forms of economic monitoring and data gathering they ostensibly oppose, this essay offers a critique of corporate surveillance as a technique for exploiting the work of being watched. Consumers who submit to comprehensive surveillance in response to offers of convenience and participation perform valuable work for corporations and marketers. The model of consumer labor developed in the essay is applied to the online economy and the example of interactive TV. The analysis suggests that a critical approach to forms of surveillance facilitated by interactive media must focus on asymmetries of power and control over information technologies and resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-248
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Studies in Media Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

Cite this