The information panopticon represents a form of centralized power that uses information and communication technology (ICT) as observational tools and control mechanisms.The idea of information panopticon came from the structure used in prisons to maximize the number of prisoners that can be observed by a single officer.
In order to maximize the profit computer technologies are introduced in various industries during 1980's. The banking industry is the first major non-militory sector of the world economy to computerize.Shoshana Zuboff examined the data based environment at the brazilian branch of a US bank.On the introduction of computer technology the whole banking system changed.In the words of one manager”Service , excellence and innovation are the only buzz words now. As we push th technology ,people will realize that they have a really valuable tool on the other on their hands .They will be forced to use it.Then we can change the way they think and do their work”.But due to the resistance from senior managers the database environment system did not cause any revolution .
As these ICTs are introduced into the workplace, managers and employees are discovering the hierarchical risks within information authority. Zuboff explains that these information centers help managers in a workplace to revamp their methods of communication, invite feedback, listen, coach, facilitate, manage many objectives, encourage autonomy, provide vision. The engagements a manager previously dealt with in a face-to-face setting can now be administered through a system that operates in a ubiquitous way. In other words, technology can be used as a form of power that displays itself automatically and continuously.
In a work setting, this method of control is different to that of the original panopticon because many ICT systems function as transparent architectures. The technological knowledge needed to understand how one is being surveyed is not as apparent as in Benthams prison. The techniques of control within informational and networked systems often appear pragmatic, immediate, and technical. This places the employees in a position of passive and obedient, where they no longer know or understand exactly how panoptic power is being enforced. Consequently, the administrative actions within the workplace can appear paranoid and non-specified approaches to security.