dataveillance
n. The ability to monitor a person’s activities by studying the data trail created by actions such as credit card purchases, cell phone calls, and Internet use.

Example Citation:
"Many Canadians don't realize how extensive electronic surveillance has become in the past 20 years. There are safeguards and penalties for abuse in government, but information exists in countless private-sector databases, often unsecured ones. ... That's why Big Brother is less a concern, critics say, than the thousands of profit-motivated Little Brothers already in our midst. People who do [not] understand about 'dataveillance' are often lulled by empty promises of confidentiality, especially online."
—Lynda Hurst, "The 'Little Brothers' Are Watching You," The Toronto Star, August 12, 2000

Earliest Citation:
Dataveillance is the systematic use of personal data systems in the investigation or monitoring of the actions or communications of one or more persons.
—Roger A. Clarke, "Information Technology and Dataveillance," Communications of the ACM, May, 1988

Notes:
Dataveillance is an inelegant blend of data and surveillance. It has been around since the late 1980s, but its use has jumped significantly over the past few years thanks to the increasingly widespread concerns for individual privacy in the Internet age. The term was coined in 1988 by Roger A. Clarke, a professor of computer science at the Australian National University.

A synonym that isn't as popular, but rolls off the tongue a little better, is consumer espionage, which was coined by former Wall Street Journal reporter Erik Larson in his 1992 book, The Naked Consumer.

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