Convenience and cost-effectiveness are the two key considerations for both citizens and security forces when deciding which technologies to embrace or avoid in the Information Society. State actors and private corporations adopt information communication technologies (ICTs) because they are cost-effective. The motivation for adoption may be different in the private and public sectors but once adopted these ICTs are then capable of being bridged in multiple ways permitting police/security forces to go beyond the data they gather directly but also increasingly tap into data gathered and stored by private corporations. These ICTs, which have to date gone through a period of largely organic growth, will be deemed to be “in balance” if they are implemented in a way which respects individual privacy while still maximising convenience, profitability, public safety and security.
RESPECT seeks to investigate if the current and foreseeable implementation of ICTs in surveillance is indeed “in balance” and, where a lack of balance may exist or is perceived by citizens not to exist, the project explores options for redressing the balance through a combination of Privacy-Enhancing Technologies and operational approaches. Investigating at least five key sectors not yet tackled by other recent projects researching surveillance (CCTV, database mining and interconnection, on-line social network analysis, RFID & geo-location/sensor devices, financial tracking), RESPECT will also carry out quantitative and qualitative research on citizens’ awareness and attitudes to surveillance. RESPECT will produce tools that would enable policy makers to understand the socio-cultural as well as the operational and economic impact of surveillance systems. The project will also produce operational guidelines incorporating privacy by design approaches which would enable law enforcement agencies to deploy surveillance systems with lowest privacy risk possible and maximum security gain to citizens.