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Sousveillance is a term first coined by wearable computing pioneer Steve Mann to describe the inverse of surveillance. "Rather than tolerating terrorism as a feedback means to restore the balance (of society)," says Mann, "an alternative framework would be to build a stable system to begin with, e.g. a system that is self-balancing. Such a society may be built with sousveillance (inverse surveillance) as a way to balance the increasing (and increasingly one-sided) surveillance."[1]


Sousveillance: Surveillance means:- sur (above) + viller (to watch)

Small portable recording devices have given us the growing phenomenon of Sousveillance: French "sous" (from below)= "sousveillance" = To Watch from Below.[2]

Related Reading

Steve Mann


  1. "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.
  2. - World Sousveillance Day.