People have often discussed what a surveillance state would imply. However, with Facebook/Meta revealing its plans of creating a metaverse, a new discussion needs to be had about not just a surveillance state but also surveillance capitalism and mass surveillance. It begins with a brief analysis of witch trials as a product of pre-digital era surveillance. This paper outlines the role of surveillance in today's society and delves into its impact on human rights and democracy; while exploring the legal and social paradigms of living under surveillance capitalism. It further elaborates upon how mass surveillance is detrimental to the democratic process.
This paper firmly ascertains that Mass surveillance has led to the commodification of humans owing to an apparent lack of informed consent and massive information asymmetry. Further, Mass surveillance has led to a significant destabilization of the democratic process with attacks on whistleblowers, journalists, and opposition leaders. The quality of democracies has further deteriorated owing to the workings of companies like Cambridge Analytica and software like the spear-phishing software- Pegasus.