Convenience and cost-effectiveness are the two key considerations for both citizens  and security forces when deciding which technologies to embrace or avoid in the  Information Society. State actors and private corporations adopt information  communication technologies (ICTs) because they are cost- effective.

The motivation  for adoption may be different in the private and public sectors but once adopted  these ICTs are then capable of being bridged in multiple ways permitting police/security forces to go beyond the data they gather directly but also increasingly  tap into data gathered and stored by private corporations. These ICTs, which have to  date gone through a period of largely organic growth, will be deemed to be “in  balance” if they are implemented in a way which respects individual privacy while still  maximising convenience, profitability, public safety and security.

RESPECT seeks to  investigate if the current and foreseeable implementation of ICTs in surveillance is  indeed “in balance” and, where a lack of balance may exist or is perceived by  citizens not to exist, the project explores options for redressing the balance through a  combination of Privacy-Enhancing Technologies and operational approaches. 

Investigating at least five key sectors not yet tackled by other recent projects  researching surveillance (CCTV,  atabase mining and interconnection, on-line social network analysis, RFID & geo-location/sensor devices, financial tracking), RESPECT  will also carry out quantitative and qualitative research on citizens’ awareness and  attitudes to surveillance. RESPECT will produce tools that would enable policy  makers to understand the socio-cultural as well as the operational and economic  impact of surveillance systems.

The project will also produce operational guidelines incorporating privacy by design approaches which would enable law enforcement  agencies to deploy surveillance systems with lowest privacy risk possible and  maximum security gain to citizens.