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Sorting out smart surveillance

: Wright, D.; Friedewald, M.; Gutwirth, S.; Langheinrich, M.; Mordini, E.; Bellanova, R.; Hert, P. de; Wadhwa, K.; Bigo, D.


Computer law & security review : CLSR 26 (2010), Nr.4, S.343-354
ISSN: 0267-3649
Fraunhofer ISI ()
smart surveillance; security; privacy; transborder data flow; privacy impact assessment

Surveillance is becoming ubiquitous in our society. We can also see the emergence of "smart" surveillance technologies and the assemblages (or combinations) of such technologies, supposedly to combat crime and terrorism, but in fact used for a variety of purposes, many of which are intrusive upon the privacy of law-abiding citizens. Following the dark days of 9/11, security and surveillance became paramount. More recently, in Europe, there has been a policy commitment to restore privacy to centre stage. This paper examines the legal tools available to ensure that privacy and personal data protection are respected in attempts to ensure the security of our society, and finds that improvements are needed in our legal and regulatory framework if privacy is indeed to be respected by law enforcement authorities and intelligence agencies. It then goes on to argue that privacy impact assessments should be used to sort out the necessity and proportionality of security and surveillance programmes and policies vis-à-vis privacy.