Workplan and Methodology

In order to achieve the objectives of the project, RESPECT has been divided into 14 research and development work packages (WP2-15). Each work package is led by an experienced project member who is responsible for clearly delineated, measurable deliverables. The work packages (WPs) are carried out in the context of distinct project streams which build on and inform each other:

  1. Status Quo Analysis
  2. Citizen Attitudes
  3. Best Practice.

The fourteen Work Packages comprising these research streams are complemented by three other Work Packages designed to ensure that the RESPECT project is fully compliant with the highest standards of project management in international collaborative research which groups nearly forty researchers from 19 institutions in 16 countries. Thus WP1 deals with Project Management and co-ordination across the entire RESPECT project while WP16 provides an in-built evaluation function. WP17 serves to focus effort on dissemination of the project results across the widest possible range of audiences.

  1. Status quo analysis

The design philosophy for RESPECT implements a multi-disciplinary approach to the issues under investigation. It brings together serving or ex-police and intelligence officers with engineers, security specialists, IT/privacy lawyers, sociologists as well as experts in consumer behaviour, marketing and e-government. The inter-disciplinarity afforded by this rich mix of skills and experience ensures that within WPs2-9, the applications of surveillance technologies are examined in such a way so as to identify enhanced security opportunities, efficiency and proportionality issues as well as privacy risks.

The status quo analysis will not deal solely with applications of surveillance on a sector-by-sector basis (WPs4-8). It will also map out characteristics of laws governing surveillance and identify lacunae/new safeguards as well as best practices (WP9). By thus combining an analysis of how, why and when surveillance may be used in multiple application sectors, and a complementary structured understanding of the legal framework to follow under the impact stream, the status quo analysis will provide the prerequisite knowledge to enable the RESPECT team to move on to examine citizen attitudes before venturing to come up with design solutions and new operational safeguards.

  1. Citizen attitudes

RESPECT will use quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to carry out a study aimed at establishing the attitudes of citizens to most forms of surveillance and privacy. In WP11, data collection instruments that will be deployed in a web-based questionnaire will be designed to explore the awareness and attitudes of internet users towards the cost, convenience and success of surveillance in the reduction, detection and/or prosecution of crimes In WP12, focus group discussions will be carried out amongst citizens in the participating member states. Each group will consist of between 8 to 10 participants. A minimum of two group discussions will be carried out in each participating country.

On-line questionnaires and discussion guidelines designed to investigate the questions set out in the more detailed description of WP11 and WP12 below will be developed and submitted to the European Commission for comments and approval before the start of the research. In developing these discussion guidelines, the RESPECT research team will also benefit from any pertinent findings obtained in the course of quantitative and qualitative research on consumer attitudes to privacy resulting from the CONSENT and SMART projects.

Discussion guidelines will be translated into the languages of the countries in which the discussion groups will be conducted. Recruitment will be made on the basis of a recruitment questionnaire that will be designed to ensure that interviews are carried out with consumers that are broadly representative of the population of interest and it is therefore most likely that a quota will be set to ensure a balance of males/females and those with different educational backgrounds. Discussion groups will recorded in MP3 format, the recordings of discussions will only be made available outside the project team if participants consent to this. In all cases, anonymised reports on each interview will be made available in English to the project team. These anonymised reports will be archived and made available to other researchers at the end of the project.

  1. Best Practice: Criteria for fairness covering efficiency, proportionality, privacy and data protection

The RESPECT project will develop formal criteria for the privacy friendly use of surveillance thus producing “fairness criteria” which can then guide the later effort to develop system design and operating guidelines as well as a decision-support matrix tool. The development of those criteria will be based on the results of the Status-Quo Analysis will take into account technology potential, proportionality issues and privacy risks as well as existing criteria and best/good practices developed in other surveillance contexts.

The RESPECT project will develop a toolkit for policy-makers, system designers and police/security forces to implement and promote a best practice approach based on the fairness criteria established during the previous phase (WP15). To facilitate this approach, a sound data protection theoretical framework supports the toolkit.

The RESPECT project will further establish the dynamic interrelationship between the different sources of regulation and develop measures appropriate to minimise the risks to privacy and data protection, identified in the early stages of the project. While the final distribution of measures that will form part of the toolkit will depend on the findings and analyses of the earlier research, possible elements which will be considered include:

  • Technical features and operational procedures which would be integrated into System Design and Operating Guidelines.
  • Regulatory, self-regulatory and co-regulatory measures including a Operational Guidelines aimed at achieving compliance for surveillance systems with Council Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters or, as may be appropriate, with its successor which is presumed to be the EU Commission’s proposal 25.1.2012 COM(2012) for a Police and Criminal Justice Data Protection Directive or its alternatives.
  • Development of industry standards
  • Educational measures