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.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662510376886

Abstract

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.

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About

  • Item ORO ID
  • 28421
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • 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 or School
  • Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2010 the Authors
  • Depositing User
  • Sara Degli Esposti

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