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Content archived on 2024-06-18

RESPECT – Rules, Expectations & Security through Privacy-Enhanced Convenient Technologies

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Balancing privacy with security

Advanced tools are being proposed to find the right balance between privacy and security. Policymakers and law enforcement agencies could help in the drive to achieve this goal.

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Convenient high-tech surveillance systems are becoming very popular in order to ensure security at many levels, but their intrusive nature is also creating concern among citizens. The EU-funded project 'RESPECT – Rules, expectations & security through privacy-enhanced convenient technologies' (RESPECT) is looking at how information and communication technologies in surveillance balance security with privacy. Investigating how citizens perceive such a balance, including their levels of awareness and attitudes in this respect, the project team is developing privacy-enhancing solutions that address shortcomings. Specifically, it is investigating key areas in surveillance research, namely closed-circuit television, database mining and interconnection, online social network analysis, radio frequency identification, geo-location/sensor devices and financial tracking. To achieve its aims, RESPECT is reviewing the effectiveness of surveillance systems, examining social and economic costs in adopting them, looking at legal implications and establishing best practices in the field. It is finalising a toolkit for policymakers that features a checklist of factors (social, economic, legal etc.) to help them understand and select the most appropriate systems. The toolkit also includes system design guidelines and regulations that law enforcement agencies can adopt when deploying surveillance systems. Already, the project has made significant progress in all the areas under study, from database mining to financial tracking. It also completed documentation of the relevant laws on surveillance, identifying safeguards, shortcomings and best practices. The results were presented in the first RESPECT policy workshop titled OPENSUR-2013 Privacy Enabled Surveillance?, held in Slovenia in 2013. Once the project is complete, policymakers and law enforcement agencies will have sophisticated guidelines and tools to help redress the balance between security and privacy. The two concepts need not be mutually exclusive, and European citizens will hopefully be able to experience the best of both worlds.


Privacy, security, surveillance systems, closed-circuit television, database mining

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