"Panopticon.com: Online Surveillance and the Commodification of Privacy" by Annenberg Ph.D. candidate John Campbell and alumnus Matt Carlson (M.A. 2002) appears in a special issue of Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media (December, 2002). The special issue is titled: New Media and the Commercial Sphere.
The article by Campbell and Carlson explores how marketing imperatives shape the employment of information technologies for the surveillance of individuals online. Informed by political economy theory, the authors analyze the discourse surrounding marketing models of the world wide web, specifically internet ad servers and infomediaries, in an effort to understand the social implications of online corporate surveillance. Drawing upon the work of Foucault, they consider the usefulness of the metaphorical Panopticon in conceptually apprehending online surveillance and power relations in cyberspace. They argue that the participation of individuals in the online gathering of data about themselves as economic subjects results from the commodification of privacy.