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Public assessment of new surveillance-oriented security technologies: beyond the trade-off between privacy and security

Pavone, Vincenzo and Degli Esposti, Sara (2012). Public assessment of new surveillance-oriented security technologies: beyond the trade-off between privacy and security. Public Understanding of Science, 21(5) pp. 556–572.

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As surveillance-oriented security technologies (SOSTs) are considered security enhancing but also privacy infringing, citizens are expected to trade part of their privacy for higher security. Drawing from the PRISE project, this study casts some light on how citizens actually assess SOSTs through a combined analysis of focus groups and survey data. First, the outcomes suggest that people did not assess SOSTs in abstract terms but in relation to the specific institutional and social context of implementation. Second, from this embedded viewpoint, citizens either expressed concern about government’s surveillance intentions and considered SOSTs mainly as privacy infringing, or trusted political institutions and believed that SOSTs effectively enhanced their security. None of them, however, seemed to trade privacy for security because concerned citizens saw their privacy being infringed without having their security enhanced, whilst trusting citizens saw their security being increased without their privacy being affected.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2010 the Authors
ISSN: 0963-6625
Extra Information: SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is a licence agreement under which the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright.
Keywords: lay expertise; public understanding of science; risk perception; science attitudes and perceptions; technology assessment
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 28421
Depositing User: Sara Degli Esposti
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2011 13:41
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 09:52
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