Security and Privacy Perceptions of European Citizens: Beyond the Trade-off Model

Chairs: M. Friedewald (Fraunhofer ISI), J. Čas (OEWA-ITA)

The relation between security and privacy is often conceived in terms of a trade-off: more security necessarily comes at the cost of privacy, and vice versa. Policy or technology choices are accordingly presented as requiring striking a ‘balance’ between these two competing values. For example, we are told to accept that our online and telephone conversations are monitored to allow law enforcement and intelligence agencies to identify and protect us from people with criminal intent. Or if we want to arrive safely at our flight’s destination, we must accept our bodies being scanned for hidden weapons and explosives. On the other hand, counter discourses seem to consider this idea as fundamentally wrong. The flawed nature of the trade-off model, or metaphor, is one of the basic premises of three currently executed FP7-Security projects: PRISMS, SURPRISE, and PACT, all three of which are involved in studying the relation between security, surveillance (technologies) and privacy, and public perceptions thereof derived by participatory technology assessment activities.

  • M. Friedewald, M. van Lieshout: The Context-Dependance of Citizens’ Attitudes and Preferences Regarding Privacy and Security
  • R. Bellanova, P. Burgess: Beyond the Security/Privacy Trade-Off Model: The Co-Constitution of Security and Data Protection and Its Limit
  • J. Čas: The Security/Privacy Trade-Off Model: The Citizens’ Perspective on a Politically and Scientifically Contested Concept
  • P. Bescherer: Citizens’ Engagement in Urban Security Policy – Potential and Limitations