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Example of Modern Sousveillance. (CC BY-NC 2.0) by brecav


Sousveillance is a term first coined by wearable computing pioneer Steve Mann to describe inverse surveillance. THe term comes from the French "sous" (from below) and "viller" (to watch). To Watch from Below.[1] Portable recording devices have given the general public the capability to perform sousveillant acts. To surveill as opposed to be surveilled. A citizen taking a mobile phone video in order to show evidence of a crime is an example of Sousveillance.

Mann calls the systems of Sousveillance and Surveillance self-balencing, pointing out that societies may employ Sousveillance "as a way to balance the increasing (and increasingly one-sided) surveillance."[2]

UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident, Four Perspectives on YouTube, Uploaded by Andy Baio on Nov 21, 2011

Related Reading

Steve Mann


  1. - World Sousveillance Day.
  2. "Sousveillance": inverse surveillance in multimedia imaging. Steve Mann, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Published in Proceedings of the 12th annual ACM international conference on Multimedia. ACM New York, NY, USA, 2004.