In ubiquitous surveillance societies, individuals are subjected to observation and control by authorities, institutions, and corporations. Sometimes, citizens contribute their own knowledge and other resources to their own surveillance. In addition, some of “the watched” observe “the watchers” “through” sous‐veillant activities, and various forms of self-surveillance for different purposes. However, information and communication technologies are also increasingly used for social initiatives with a bottom up structure where citizens themselves define the goals, shape the outcomes and profit from the benefits of watching activities. This model, which we define as citizens’ veillance and explore in this special issue, may present opportunities for individuals and collectives to be more prepared to meet the challenges they face in various domains including environment, health, planning and emergency response.