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Relations between Security, Technologies and Citizens. EUROCITIES FSF-Telecities Summer Event ICT FOR SAFE DIGITAL CITIES June 2007. Dr David Murakami Wood Global Urban Research Unit. Outline. Concepts: Technology Security Citizenship

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relations between security technologies and citizens

Relations between Security, Technologies and Citizens


Dr David Murakami Wood





  • Concepts:
    • Technology
    • Security
    • Citizenship
  • 9 Steps Towards Ambient Surveillance?
  • Examples
  • 5 Models of Society
  • Problems and Prospects
    • Technological Lock-in
    • Dehumanisation and Insecurity
    • Enabling Environments or Automated Societies?
  • Concluding Challenges
concepts 1 technology
Concepts 1: Technology
  • Traditional view of technology:
    • Linear Cause-and-Effect ‘Impacts’ on Cities
    • Predictable

e.g.: Cities will spread out or 'die‘ because of Internet

  • Utopian version = Technological determinism
    • If it can be done, it should be done
    • People should fit the system
    • ‘Silver bullet’ view: technology ‘x’ will solve problems

e.g.: CCTV and crime

  • BUT: Technological relations are also social relations
    • Produced for particular reasons, in particular contexts
    • Support mobility and control for capital and social elites
    • Uneven geographies reworked not eliminated
    • Create new forms of social divisions
  • Technological capacity ahead of policy capacity
concepts 2 security
Concepts 2: Security
  • Predominance of risk and risk management
  • Militarisation:
    • Military concepts move to civil arena
    • Increasingly permanent State of Emergency / State of Exception
    • Security becomes ‘trump card’ over liberty, privacy, human rights etc.
  • Security = safety?
  • The Return of Mass Surveillance
    • Surveillance has always been part of government
    • Care and Control are not in opposition
    • Targeted v. mass surveillance
concepts 3 citizenship
Concepts 3: Citizenship
  • Components of Trust:
    • Accountability
    • Bias
    • Predictability
    • Affect
    • Competence
  • Problems of Privacy
    • From individual to social / group privacy?
  • Problem of Data
    • Data still treated as simply ‘information about…’
    • State sees right to acquire data as paramount?
    • But: ‘Data Doubles’ as important to life chances as physical bodies?
    • Data = valuable commodity, c.f.: image rights debate
  • Problem of Transparency
    • Surveillance and Freedom of Information = reciprocal
towards ambient surveillance 1 3
Towards Ambient Surveillance? 1-3
  • Digitisation – information in searchable and remotely accessible databases
    • Creation of Data Doubles - digital citizens composed of the information, stand for ‘real’ selves in transactions with the state.
    • Profiling
    • Social Sorting – based on risk / profit
  • Automation – algorithms analyse collected data
    • Simulation
    • Pre-emption –anticipating and preventing
    • Heuristics – learning systems, self-programming?
  • Connection – telecommunication combination with computing
    • Connection between previously separate systems
    • Information sharing – convenience but increased danger of unauthorized use
    • Wireless – WPAN – WLAN – WWAN – WGAN?
towards ambient surveillance 4 6
Towards Ambient Surveillance? 4-6
  • Increasing Power
    • Moore’s Law: processing power doubles approx. every 12 months
    • Greater intensity of surveillance
    • But also: speed – real time
  • Miniturization
    • From room-sized machines to almost microscopic in 50 years
    • Combination of greater power in smaller chips
    • ‘Smart Dust’ sensors / ‘Motes’ c. 2x2mm
    • Nanotechnology – molecular machines
    • Towards workable quantum computing?
  • Distribution
    • Technologies no longer have to be single objects in boxes
    • Dispersed networks of (invisibly) linked components
    • At-a-distance surveillance and analysis
towards amient surveillance 7 9
Towards Amient Surveillance? 7-9
  • Infrastructurization
    • Technologies moved from being highly visible to being buried or moving within
    • Components become assumed and taken for granted
  • Mobility
    • Devices no longer have to be in one place
    • Mobile with user
    • Remote Controlled
    • Independently mobile? Robots and ‘Swarms’
  • Addressability
    • Standard ‘address’ – URL, protocols and languages
    • Location - where are you?
    • Verification – are you entitled?
    • Identification – who / what are you?
    • Protocols are the key…
example 1 biometrics
Example 1: Biometrics
  • Technologies that ‘recognise’ human bodily traits or movements, e.g.:
    • facial recognition
    • iris scanning
    • movement recognition etc.
  • Already widespread
  • Some more reliable than others
    • Problems with face recognition
  • Need to reorganise space to ‘make it work’?

Privium System, Schiphol Airport, Netherlands (Schiphol website)

example 2 trans national databases
Example 2: (Trans)National Databases
  • Growing numbers of national databases
    • Police DNA Database (NDNAD)
    • FIND
    • Connecting for Health
    • National Identity Register (NIR) etc.
  • Many questions, e.g.: NDNAD
    • Preponderance of black men’s DNA
    • DNA of innocent
    • Children’s DNA
  • New problem: cross-border sharing
    • With USA – e-borders projects
    • With EU – agreements on data-sharing (just signed)
  • Where are systems of accountability, consent etc.?
example 3 rfid
Example 3: RFID
  • Radio Frequency Identificationchips
  • Current ‘silver bullet’ (smart everything…)
  • Passive vs. Active
  • Tags and Implants
  • Used for:
    • Cargo
    • Retail products
    • Animals
    • People – from patients to nightclubbers to workers to…?

Human RFID implant

(Getty Images)

example 4 mobile cameras
Example 4: Mobile Cameras
  • Increasing development of either temporary, remote-controlled or independently mobile systems
  • e.g.:
    • Helmet Cams – and not just for police
    • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
    • Rolling Robots
    • Swarms – robots working together

From the skies over the Gulf to the streets of Liverpool and Milan: UAVs (top – military Predator drone aircraft (USAF); left – r/c helicopter camera (PA)

example 5 scanners
Example 5: Scanners
  • Only use a small part of the EM spectrum
  • Developers want to change this. e.g.:
    • Backscatter X-ray (Rapiscan)
    • Millimetre Wave (Qinetiq)
  • Increasingly portable and low-cost
    • From airports to train stations, shopping centres, schools…
    • Pinch-points
  • Brain scanning – moving out of hospitals…

Qinetiq’s next generation millimetre wave scanner

(Qinetiq Press Release, 2004)

example 6 smart dust
Example 6: Smart Dust
  • Workable sensors at smaller scales
  • Distributed, wireless, multi-functional
  • Smallest working sensors from Dust Networks
    • ‘Motes’
  • Will be seen as ‘big’ in very short time
    • Micro – Nano
  • Implications for privacy
  • How to regulate?

Tiny ‘smart dust’ mote on US penny

(UC Berkeley Smart Dust project)

five models of the ambient intelligence society
Five Models of the Ambient Intelligence Society
  • Volunteerism – the ‘British Way’ – muddle-through, compromise etc…
  • Laissez-Faire – let the market decide
  • Security State – militaristic paternalism
  • Transparent Society – everything is known
  • Reciprocal Society – mutual accountability
model 1 volunteerism
Model 1: Volunteerism
  • Development of ambient intelligence and protocols ignored
  • Lack of fundamental rights
  • Codes of Practice and volunteerism predominate
  • Shackled regulators
  • State able to produced contingent arguments for exceptions and exemptions
  • Technological advances run ahead of policy
  • Trust problem not addressed
  • Costs out of control
  • Never certain where ‘lines crossed’
  • Citizen participation = patchy
model 2 laissez faire
Model 2: Laissez-faire
  • All the privacy you can afford
  • Protocols developed by private sector:
    • Development of ‘Brandscapes’
  • Encourage development of ‘Personal Information Economy’
  • Personal data as commodity
  • State and private sector pays market value of data it wants
  • But in turn citizen has to pay for access to information
  • Embedded within existing unequal market relations
    • ‘Privacy’ set by market relations and technological capacity
    • Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PETS)
  • Rich become ‘augmented’; poor left conventional
model 3 security state
Model 3: Security State
  • Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear
  • Assume that State of Exception will become the norm
  • Security trumps all other considerations
  • Rights contingent on national security considerations
  • Citizen can obtain what information state feels is relevant and necessary
  • State can share data as it wishes and can change the purposes to which data is used as it wants.
  • Protocols developed by state:
    • Automated systems which cannot be questioned
    • Space altered to fit system requirements
model 4 transparent society
Model 4: Transparent Society
  • Information Wants to Be Free
  • Proliferation of quasi-independent automated systems for multiple functions
    • Open-source protocols developing through interaction Assume all information will flow
  • Everything you do is public knowledge or liable to be known by the state, private companies, and other individuals
  • But everything the state or private companies do is equally available
  • No assumption of privacy, but build specific minimal protections based on contracts allowable in clearly-defined circumstances
model 5 reciprocal society
Model 5: Reciprocal Society
  • Surveillance and accountability as reciprocal
  • Liberty and privacy integral part of national security, not opposed to it
  • Technologies fitted to policies not vice-versa
    • Mandatory Privacy / Surveillance Impact Assessment for new technologies and systems
    • Control exercised over developed of Ambient Intelligence protocols – for common good.
  • Create new legal bases for relationships between state and citizen
  • Strengthen independent oversight and audit capacity
  • States, companies are ‘custodians’ of data not owners
problems and prospects
Problems and Prospects
  • Technological Lock-in
    • Choice and implementation of technologies in cities can cut down future choices for citizens
    • Can’t let ‘system requirements’ precede citizen choice
    • System failure
  • Dehumanisation and Insecurity
    • Does humanizing cities through ambient intelligence means relative dehumanisation of people?
    • Mass surveillance creates insecurity and division
  • Enabling Environments or Automated Societies?
    • Ambient Intelligence can enable the already disabled: sensory environments, interactive cities
    • Or it could industrialise and automate behaviour

c.f.: Lianos’ Automated Socio-Technical Environments (ASTEs)

concluding challenges
Concluding Challenges
  • Policy still a long way behind technological development
  • Need to move from ‘running to catch up’ to ‘getting ahead of the game’
  • Need to understand challenges of ubiquity of surveillance
    • State – citizen
    • Corporate – citizen
    • Citizen – citizen
    • Parastates, Criminals…
    • Media
    • Things…
  • Need to rethink conception of data
  • Need to rethink understanding of privacy
  • How to assess technologies?
    • Not just ‘education’ and ‘making people understand.’
    • Need to involve people
    • Open-source Protocols – interactive environments