Olympic “McVeillance”: The ‘McDonaldised Surveillance’ in the post‐ 9/11 Summer Olympics (Athens, Beijing and London) and its ‘glocal’ implications

 

Session: PARALLEL SESSION 8Mega‐events

Date and time: 25th April 2014. (17:00‐18:30)

Autors: Minas Samatas

Olympic “McVeillance”: The ‘McDonaldised Surveillance’ in the post‐ 9/11 Summer Olympics (Athens, Beijing and London) and its ‘glocal’ implications

The post-9/11 Olympic Games under the impact of terrorist threats and the interests of the surveillance corporate giants and more broadly of the “Surveillance Industrial Complex” have been used as a prestigious testing ground for new security and surveillance systems and a showcase for global marketing of lucrative surveillance technologies and services.
We use here the term ‘McVeillance’ to refer to the global marketing and application of standardized surveillance technologies (hardwares and softwares ), activities and solutions for local security needs by large multinational corporations; also by “Olympic McVeillance” we mean the Olympic security and surveillance systems and measures, which once established with an esteemed Olympic brand name, become the standardised security pattern for future Olympics, other mega-events, and yet for everyday security-surveillance needs in a global “Mc-Security” market. Hence, the Olympic security industry and the “Surveillance Industrial Complex,” which sponsor and exploit the contemporary “McDonaldized Olympics” promote all sorts of the latest surveillance technologies, from sophisticated CCTV cameras to integrated surveillance systems, GPS and dataveillance algorithms, smart cards, drones, etc., as a panacea for local security solutions.
In this paper we will present distinctive “McVeillance” systems and solutions, which have been used in the Athens, Beijing and London Olympics to argue that their standardised, global extension, underpinned by the desire for profit may have serious local personal and anti-democratic implications, not excluding corruption. Because, Olympic “McVeillance” can ultimately threaten individual and civil liberties when it is used not for exceptional occasions but for everyday security needs without restrictions and privacy safeguards. In brief, the overall glocal impact of the Olympic ‘McVeillance’, which is of course depending on the local state, regime and culture, can contribute to an emerging “global surveillance society.”