Cyberveillance refers to the extensive electronic monitoring and surveillance conducted over digital networks or cyberspace. This includes internet activity, computer files, and digital communications such as emails and other messages. It’s often used by law enforcement, companies, and hackers for monitoring, tracking, and collecting information.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Cyberveillance” is: “Sai-ber-vuh-lans”

Key Takeaways

  1. Privacy Concerns: Cyberveillance refers to the online surveillance that allows tracking and monitoring of individuals’ digital activities. Owing to this, it often raises serious privacy concerns, as it involves the collection, analysis, and storage of personal information, which could potentially be misused or mishandled.
  2. Security: While cyber surveillance is a topic of controversy, it is undeniably essential for maintaining cyber security. It helps in detecting and preventing cyber threats, including cybercrimes, terrorism, and unauthorised access to sensitive information. This, in turn, can protect individuals, organisations and governments.
  3. Regulation: Cyberveillance calls for clear regulatory frameworks and guidelines to ensure that while security is upheld, individuals’ rights to privacy, freedom of expression and information are not violated. It should be employed responsibly and transparently to maintain a balance between security needs and privacy rights.


Cyberveillance refers to the use of digital technologies to monitor, record, or analyze the behavior or activities of individuals or groups. It is a significant concept as it plays a foundational role in digital societies, including various sectors such as security, law enforcement, business, and healthcare, among others. The increasing reliance on digital technologies and the expansion of the internet have intensified the possibilities for cyber surveillance. While it offers benefits like tracking criminal activities online and safeguarding national security, it also raises critical ethical and privacy concerns, given the increasing sophistication of tools available for covert surveillance, data breaches, and privacy invasion. Therefore, understanding cyberveillance is important to balance its utility while acknowledging its potential for misuse.


Cyberveillance is a form of observation that leverages modern technology, particularly digital systems and internet resources, to monitor activities and gather data in the vast landscape of cyberspace. Its main purpose is to ensure security, prevent harmful incidents, and maintain the integrity of systems in both public and private realms. Various entities utilize cyberveillance for different reasons. For instance, governments employ it to safeguard the national infrastructure and prevent cyber terrorism, companies use it to prevent data breaches, and parents might use it to monitor their children’s online activities to protect them from online predators.Moreover, cyberveillance plays a critical role in collecting and analyzing data to reveal valuable insights into behaviors, trends, and potential threats in real-time. In e-commerce, companies use cyberveillance to understand consumer behaviors and enhance their shopping experiences, whereas in law enforcement, it’s used to track and prevent illegal activities online. Furthermore, in the field of cybersecurity, cyberveillance tools are used to detect intrusion attempts, isolate affected networks, and respond to cybersecurity incidents effectively. Despite the potential privacy concerns, when used responsibly, cyberveillance is a significant tool in our digital age that helps maintain online safety and security.


1. Security Cameras in Public Spaces: Many cities around the world use CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras to monitor public spaces for safety purposes. This is an example of cyberveillance, as the footage gathered is often analyzed using digital tools and then stored electronically. For instance, in London, an extensive network of CCTV cameras is used to monitor streets, parks and transport hubs providing a means for law enforcement to monitor and react to incidents efficiently.2. Online Activity Monitoring: Many companies use software to monitor their employees’ online activities during work hours. This could include tracking websites visited, emails sent and received, and even keystrokes. This is done to ensure productivity, compliance with company policy, and to prevent data breaches. 3. Social Media Surveillance: Governments and law enforcement agencies often use cyberveillance to monitor social media platforms to detect potential threats or criminal activities. For instance, during protests or political unrest, authorities might scan social media for posts related to the event, looking for indications of potential violence or unlawful acts. This helps in ensuring public safety and maintaining order. Additionally, these techniques are also used to track potential terrorist activities and cybercrimes.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is Cyberveillance?A: Cyberveillance refers to the process of monitoring activities over digital devices like computers, smartphones, or networks. It’s used for security, law enforcement purposes, and in businesses to monitor employees’ activities.Q: Is Cyberveillance legal?A: The legality of Cyberveillance depends on the context and location. Generally, it’s legal for companies to monitor their own networks to protect their assets. For law enforcement agencies, it usually requires a warrant. However, laws may vary from country to country.Q: How does Cyberveillance work?A: Cyberveillance works by monitoring and recording activities on a digital device or network. It can track websites visited, emails sent or received, application usage, and more. This data can be analyzed later for various purposes.Q: Who uses Cyberveillance?A: Cyberveillance is used widely across many sectors. Businesses may use it to monitor employee productivity or to protect sensitive information. Law enforcement agencies may use it to investigate potential crimes. Parents might also use it to monitor their children’s online activities.Q: What are some common types of Cyberveillance?A: Common types of Cyberveillance include monitoring emails, calls, internet usage, social media activities, location tracking and other digital activities.Q: What are the ethical concerns surrounding Cyberveillance?A: The main ethical concerns surrounding Cyberveillance are privacy and consent. It potentially infringes on individuals’ right to privacy, especially if carried out without consent.Q: How can I protect myself from invasive Cyberveillance?A: To protect yourself, ensure that your devices are always updated with the latest software, use strong, unique passwords, and be cautious of the information you share online. Consider using encryption for sensitive communications and utilize privacy settings on social media accounts.Q: What is the difference between Cyberveillance and Cybersecurity?A: While both concepts focus on digital environments, Cyberveillance refers to the act of monitoring and recording digital activities. In contrast, Cybersecurity refers to the measures taken to protect a digital environment from attacks, threats, and unauthorized access.

Related Finance Terms

  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Privacy
  • Internet Surveillance
  • Information Technology Laws
  • Network Monitoring

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents