Acceptable Surveillance-Orientated Security Technologies: Insights from the SurPRISE Project

Sara Degli Esposti, Elvira Santiago-Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)
164 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Pre-emptive security emphasizes the necessity of envisioning and designing technologies enabling the anticipation and management of emergent risks threatening human and public security. Surveillance functionalities are embedded in the design of these technologies to allow constant monitoring, preparedness and prevention. Yet surveillance-orientated security technologies, such as smart CCTVs or Deep Packet Inspection, bring along with their implementation other risks, such as risks of privacy infringement, discrimination, misuse, abuse, or errors, which have often triggered public outrage and resistance. The same measures meant to foster human security, can potentially make people feel insecure, vulnerable, and exposed. This outcome is the result of a narrow approach toward problem solving that does not take into account those same people the technology is supposed to protect. Drawing from both the socio-cultural and psychometric approaches to risk analysis and from the literature on public engagement in science and technology, this article presents a new methodological tool, which combines traditional citizen summit method with an innovative mixed-method research design. The objective of this new form of participatory exercise is to engage the public and gather socially robust and in context knowledge about the public acceptability of these technologies. The method has been developed as part of the SurPRISE project, funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Program. The article presents the theoretical framework and preliminary results of citizen summits organized across Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-454
JournalSurveillance & Society
Volume13
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

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