The prospect of living in this way would also deter those who visited the prison from wanting to commit crimes.
Hence the Panopticon would serve as a deterrent to the inmates from misbehaving or committing future crimes and to general society from committing crimes and finding themselves so incarcerated.
While Bentham/Foucault and Orwell successfully raised questions about the value and harms of surveillance, these had limited impact in many philosophy departments.
As such there is little written on the ethics of surveillance from a strictly philosophical perspective.
His study began with torture and the emphasis on the sovereignty and power of the king.
With the Enlightenment the prison was introduced as a more efficient means of punishment, supported by society’s increasing acceptance of the value of discipline beyond merely the military or religious arenas.
Furthermore the design is not to pay attention to just anyone, but to pay attention to some entity (a person or group) in particular and for a particular reason. It may also involve listening, as when a telephone conversation is bugged, or even smelling, as in the case of dogs trained to discover drugs, or hardware which is able to discover explosives at a distance.
The ethics of surveillance considers the moral aspects of how surveillance is employed.
Surveillance involves paying close and sustained attention to another person.
It is distinct from casual yet focused people-watching, such as might occur at a pavement cafe, to the extent that it is sustained over time.
As the inmates of the Panopticon were reminded of the supervisor’s presence by the loudspeaker, so citizens in Orwell’s vision were told repeatedly that “Big Brother is watching you”.