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= the process of openly and purposefully providing an almost continual stream of the details of one’s daily life


Michael Zimmer:

"Building on this Japanese concept of “neta,” I propose a new kind of “veillance” has emerged with Web 2.0 infrastructures: “netaveillance”. Netaveillance can be defined as the process of openly and purposefully providing an almost continual stream of the details of one’s daily life – the mundane, the profane, and the vain – through Web-based technologies, coupled with the ability to capture similar data streams from one’s peers. Netaveillance constitutes an emerging ecosystem of personal data flows – not the exceptional information meant to be protected from state or commercial surveillance, but the free and open sharing of the minutiae of our lives.

My conceptualization of netaveillance is, to be sure, in its most nascent of stages. Much work needs to be done to contemplate how it relates to existing theories of privacy and surveillance, how power relations between and among participants might still exist, how such data flows could be captured by state or commercial interests, and so on. Theorizing and understanding netaveillance is no small task, but it might provide a new language and framework from which to understand the informational voyeurism and related unintended consequences of the Web 2.0 phenomenon." [(]


The origins of Neta

"In Japanese, “material” for news and stories is called “neta.” The term has strong journalistic associations, but also gets used to describe material that can become the topic of conversation among friends or family: a new store seen on the way to work; a cousin who just dropped out of high school; a funny story heard on the radio. Camera phones provide a new tool for making these everyday neta not just verbally but also visually shareable.

As the mundane is elevated to a photographic object, the everyday is now the site of potential news and visual archiving. Sending camera-phone photos to major news outlets and moblogging are one end of a broad spectrum of everyday and mass photojournalism using camera phones. What counts as newsworthy, noteworthy and photo-worthy spans a broad spectrum from personally noteworthy moments that are never shared (a scene from an escalator) to intimately newsworthy moments to be shared with a spouse or lover (a new haircut, a child riding a bike). It also includes neta to be shared among family or peers (a friend captured in an embarrassing moment, a cute pet shot) and microcontent uploaded to blogs and online journals. The transformation of journalism through camera phones is as much about these everyday exchanges as it is about the latest headline." (

More Information

  1. Participatory Panopticon
  2. Peer to Peer Surveillance
  3. Sousveillance
  4. Lifelogging