Efus partner of the research project on ethics and efficiency of surveillance technology “SURVEILLE”

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The European Forum is a partner of the research project “SURVEILLE”, which stands for  “SURVeillance: Ethical Issues, Legal Limitations, and Efficiency”. The project aims at systematically reviewing the impacts of different surveillance systems, and helping manufacturers and end-users to better develop and deploy these systems.

Co-financed by the European Commission within the 7th  framework programme, SURVEILLE brings together the European University Institute based in Florence (Italy), the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom), the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Stockholm (Sweden), the Centre for security and society of the Albert-Ludwig-University of Freiburg (Germany), the Fraunhofer Society for the development of applied sciences of Karlsruhe (Germany), the Institute of European Studies of the Free University of Brussels, Merseyside Police Service (United Kingdom) and the European Forum. The 39-month project will start with a kick-off meeting on 29 February in Florence (Italy).

It is a multidisciplinary project combining law, ethics, sociology and technology analysis  in a small number of highly collaborative, cross-cutting work packages. SURVEILLE assesses surveillance technology for its actual effectiveness in fighting crime and terrorism, for its social and economic costs, and will survey perceptions of surveillance in the general public and certain identified target groups. The investigation of societal and ethical aspects are focus on undesired side effects of surveillance systems. SURVEILLE addresses legal limitations on the use of surveillance technologies as well as ethical constraints. It includes analyses of the potential of ‘privacy by design’ and privacy-enhancing technologies in the context of surveillance systems.  It interacts with technology developers and manufacturers through a systematically delivered advisory service. The issues raised in the advisory service in turn inform emphases in research deliverables.

SURVEILLE also wants to provide an interface with law enforcement officials and local authorities to seek their feedback as results emerge from the research. In addition to contributing the know-how Efus has accumulated over the last years, one of its key tasks will be to involve end-users. Efus associates political decision makers and local practitioners and experts to the project and create the link between the research consortium and the “urban security community”.

The SURVEILLE project is a continuation of Efus’ work on security technologies, including the Charter for a democratic use of video-surveillance published in 2010.