According to the Pew Research Center:In summary, George Orwell’s novel, 1984, presents what is often considered to be a frightening picture of the use of surveillance data collected by the government. While much of what Orwell seemed to fear has become a reality in today’s world, the current reality of the negative consequences of participatory surveillance far surpasses what Orwell envisioned. Participatory surveillance is engaged in when individuals knowingly allow websites to access personal information entered in profiles and online forms
as well as when easily gathered recordings of oneself and others through commonly owned mobile technology. This process is a type of passive permission for others such as insurance companies, marketing firms
and service providers to gain access to our online information even when we have some semblance of a reason to believe it will be kept anonymous or private. The novel 1984 was authored by a liberal and objective socialist not long after the Second World War had ended. The book discusses a future in a totalitarian state where people’s thoughts and behaviors are minutely monitored, interpreted as indicating party alliance or party misalliance and controlled to increase or decrease them depending on the valence. The entire novel was based on a “what if” questions, specifically what if Bitiain had lost the war. Orwell found himself wondering what Britain might have looked like if it fell under the rule of either one of the totalitarian powers that dominated the mid 20th century. From that basic question, 1984 was created. Orwell presents a dark, unfulfilling, over politicized society, which is deemed tolerable for the safety it provides. From the beginning however, Orwell presents the protagonist as having a passionate individual side that calls to revolt, despite being somewhat pitiful in the opening scenes.