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Information Asymmetry and Power in a Surveillance Society

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  • Lightfoot, Geoffrey
  • Wisniewski, Tomasz

Abstract

In this paper we look at how information in societies is organized and how power relationships arise as a consequence of this organization. We argue that many of the observed information asymmetries are not happenstance and, drawing from a wealth of scholarship from the economics and finance literature, we posit that outcomes are inevitably detrimental. The paper concentrates on the techniques that foster information imbalances, such as media and propaganda, knowledge production, educational systems, legal and organizational structures, exclusive information networks, and surveillance. We conclude that in the absence of greater transparency, the deleterious effects of unequal access to information will continue and deepen.

Suggested Citation

  • Lightfoot, Geoffrey & Wisniewski, Tomasz, 2014. "Information Asymmetry and Power in a Surveillance Society," MPRA Paper 53109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:53109
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/58726/8/MPRA_paper_58726.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Information Asymmetry; Power; Surveillance; Secrecy;

    JEL classification:

    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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