In this article Julie Cohen draws the connection between the constant surveillance, enabled by digital cameras in public spaces, and the active accumulation of data, available to different organizations. This accumulation of data stored in multitude of databases paints a digital picture of people more revealing than the separate and random surveillance in public spaces. This integration of data in databases pose a privacy threat much more dangerous than Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon and Foucault’s interpretation of it. Cohen draws the connection between observation, surveillance, watching and power. Surveillance not only gathers information about human behavior, but when this information is stored in database then becomes a concrete fact about the past of people.
These databases in combination of different and various types of data is the real threat to privacy. She deduces that physical and online space are one and the same in terms of that they both can generate data and thus is more accurate to think of them as a “networked space” (p.195). Further she examines privacy and surveillance. Cohen distinguishes between spacial and information dimension of privacy. And she examines that surveillance changes the space over which is exerted in two ways. First the idea of power over people, but at the same time offers a sense of security. The conclusion is that surveillance in public spaces produces the same results and effects as online surveillance.