Dr Oskar Josef Gstrein

Assistant professor, University of Groningen (Netherlands)

Dr Oskar Josef Gstrein, MA, LLM is an Assistant Professor at Campus Fryslân – University of Groningen, where he is also a member of the interdisciplinary Data Research Centre. His general research theme is ‘Human Dignity in the Digital Age’, which he addresses from legal and philosophical perspectives. His publications cover the topics of Internet Governance, the governance of emerging technologies, privacy, surveillance, (cyber)security and digital identity. Oskar is a Research Associate at the Israel Public Policy Institute and Research Fellow at the Institute for Technology and Society of Rio de Janeiro. He is also an External Lecturer at the Europa-Institut of the University of Saarland in Germany.


> Do you have any specific hopes or predictions for the future of urban security? (What will urban security look like in 30 years? What will be the main opportunities and risks?)

Digital transformation reshapes societal interaction and I think this will also heavily affect the area of urban security. One of the burning questions is how increased connectivity affects the division between private and public space, and whether individual autonomy will gradually be sacrificed for an ideal of security that is impossible to achieve.

> Why do you think it is so important to involve citizens in urban security practice?

In the end most people appreciate an open and shared environment that is vibrant and peaceful. Therefore, it is up to everyone to participate in a constructive way, also when it comes to security. Everyone has to play their part and technology has to be designed in a way that enables this interaction in a constructive way. However, most technological systems deployed today (e.g. for surveillance) do not follow such a holistic (or ‘human-centred’) approach and leave important legal (human rights) and societal aspects aside.