Alistair Niemeijer about his PhD thesis ‘Surveilling Autonomy, Securing Care’

Surveillance technologies (ST) such as video surveillance, GPS tags and movement sensors are increasingly being used in residential care for vulnerable people, even though they raise various concerns. What does morally good care with surveillance technologies entail? 

Alistair Niemeijer is a PhD researcher at the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam (the Netherlands). He tries to answer this question in his PhD thesis ‘Surveilling Autonomy, Securing Care – exploring good care with surveillance technology in residential care for vulnerable people’. He does so by exploring actual practices of surveillance technologies using several empirical methods, instead of departing from specific theories of good care.

His thesis consequently shows that both the ideology and actual use of ST by caregivers and clients are highly ambivalent, showing the need for sound normative evaluation at a much earlier (design) stage.

In this short video, Alistair Niemeijer explains his research in a nutshell.

About the author: Tessa Smorenburg

Tessa Smorenburg

Tessa Smorenburg (1987) graduated as a master in Ethics of Care and Policy at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht (NL) in 2015. Her thesis concerned the discourse of transgender people in Dutch society.
She now cooperates with artists, assuming the role of journalist, and makes use of her knowledge and experience in the field of the ethics of care to provide perspective.
In her own artistic endeavours, like the collages that are her trade, she is intrigued by issues of gender and examining her position in society from a female perspective.