One of the most significant impacts of the ‘information revolution’ has been the remarkable capacity of new surveillance technologies to transcend both spatial and temporal barriers. Today surveillance is no longer confined to controlled and arranged spaces and no longer requires the physical co-presence of the observer. As this book has shown, the ‘distanciated’ relations produced by the developing CCTV surveillance networks are creating new forms of human interaction and leading to new forms of social control. However, while recognising that technological developments have played an important role in changing the nature of surveillance systems, one of the main aims of this book was to avoid the ‘technological determinism’ found in much of the writing on
electronic communications technologies. As David Lyon has argued, the problem with technological determinism is that ‘it underestimates both the role of social factors in shaping the technology in the first place, and also the variety of social contexts that mediate its use’ (1994: 9). Following Lyon, this book has focused on the ‘social dimension’ of surveillance technologies to show how ‘technological determinism’ fails in several ways.