Surveillance of many kinds is growing rapidly throughout the world and the Surveillance Studies Centre (SSC) at Queen’s University is committed to high quality research to follow such developments. Current active research explores camera surveillance, ID systems, biometrics, social media, border and airport controls – indeed on many aspects of contemporary monitoring, tracking, management and control. While much research happens on the Queen’s University campus, the SSC is also part of a broad network of surveillance research that is both multi-disciplinary and international.
Our primary funding is from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada(SSHRC). We are currently working on a five-year Big Data Surveillance project funded by a SSHRC Parnership Grant. This study is led by SSC Director David Lyon, with a team of five co-investigators, ten collaborators, and ten national and international academic and non-academic partners from public policy and activism groups. Previous projects include The New Transparency Project, a seven-year Major Collaborative Research Initiative, involving colleagues from around the world, including other key nodes at the universities of Toronto, Alberta, and Victoria, plus the Open University in the UK. Another venture SCAN (Surveillance Camera Awareness Network) is also based at the SSC, and the SSC hosts Surveillance & Society, the online journal of the Surveillance Studies Network, with which the SSC has a close relationship.
Surveillance Studies has flourished at Queen’s since the early 1990s, and from 2000-2009 was carried out under The Surveillance Project banner. Details of our many publications may be found on this site, along with descriptions of current research projects. Although most of our work is university-based, we also partner with a number of other organizations including the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (Canada), the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and other concerned with data protection and civil society responses to expanding surveillance.
While the SSC works with a wide variety of other individuals and organizations, it also has some distinct emphases. The SSC
The SSC facilitates collaboration between its members and beyond, advancing the Surveillance Studies field through workshops, lectures and seminars, empirical work, a visiting scholar program, publishing, community outreach, liaising with policy and activist groups, and student training. In alternate years, we mount a week-long Surveillance Studies Summer Seminar for graduate students.
Inquiries are welcome, from other surveillance researchers, the media, would-be visiting scholars and students and any who wish to find out more or who believe they have a contribution to make to our work.
David Lyon FRSC
Director, Surveillance Studies Centre
The Surveillance Studies Centre is a multi-disciplinary and international research centre affiliated with the Department of Sociology at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada.