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To fly or not to fly – Imposing and undergoing airport security screening beyond the security-privacy trade-off (PRISMS Deliverable 4.2)

Christiaens, Jenneke, Menichelli, Francesca and Gutwirth, Serge (2015) To fly or not to fly – Imposing and undergoing airport security screening beyond the security-privacy trade-off (PRISMS Deliverable 4.2) [Report]

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The PRISMS project analyses the traditional trade-off model between security and privacy and devises a more evidence-based perspective for reconciling security, privacy and trust. It examines how technologies aimed at enhancing security are subjecting citizens to an increasing amount of security measures and, in many cases, causing infringements of privacy and fundamental rights. It conducts both a multidisciplinary inquiry into the concepts of security and privacy and their relationships and a EU-wide survey to determine whether or not people evaluate the introduction of security technologies in terms of a trade-off. As a result, the project determines the factors that affect the public assessment of the security and privacy implications of a given security technology. The project has used these results to devise a decision support system providing users (those who deploy and operate security systems) insight into the pros and cons, constraints and limits of specific security investments compared to alternatives taking into account a wider society context.

The criminological work package (WP4) included within PRISMS aims to contribute in two significant ways to the general remit of the overall project. As outlined in deliverable 4.1, the first goal was to arrive to a formulation of a conceptualisation of the notions of security and privacy from a criminological perspective that could be and were used to provide input for the development of the survey, its concepts, questions and hypotheses. The second objective of WP4 was the contextualisation of the results of the survey in light of a qualitative research case study conducted at Brussels airport, in order to further feed with its insights the development of the decision support system, one of the final outcomes of the project. The latter is what is detailed in the present deliverable.

The main goal of the second research task of WP4 is to explore citizens’ attitudes and evaluations of security. This means that our leading question is: How do people experience securityprivacy practices or situations? To get insight people’s experiences with security practices we can only rely on how people frame and account (narrate) these experiences and events. Accounts or narratives are tools that individuals use in a sort of radical reflexivity connecting actions and accounts.1 As announced in the work package description, a qualitative case study can precisely focus on the analysis of accounts or narratives concerning the experience of participants of security practices. That way we can access how participants make sense of the situation they are part of.

This deliverable is structured as follows: first, we will discuss the Brussels airport case study afterwards, we will shortly evoke the normative framework for aviation security in place before and after 9/11; then we will very briefly describe the governance of this field, with particular emphasis on the Belgian case. Finally, we will present the main empirical findings of our qualitative study, which will be used as the basis for the conclusions advanced in the final section of the report.

Item Type: Report
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Christiaens, Jenneke
Gutwirth, Serge
Date : 1 April 2015
DOI : 10.5281/zenodo.1182903
OA Location :
Copyright Disclaimer : This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY 4.0 license This document was developed within the PRISMS project (see, co- funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), by a consortium, consisting of the following partners: • Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (Fraunhofer ISI), co-ordinator, • Trilateral Research & Consulting LLP, • Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), • Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), • University of Edinburgh (UEdin), • Eőtvős Károly Policy Institute (EKINT), • Hogeschool Zuyd and • Market & Opinion Research International Limited (Ipsos-MORI) This document may be freely used, copied, and distributed provided that the document it- self is not modified or shortened, that full authorship credit is given, and that these terms of use are not removed but included with every copy. The PRISMS partners shall take no liabil- ity for the completeness, correctness or fitness for use. This document is subject to updates, revisions, and extensions by the PRISMS consortium. Address questions and comments to:
Additional Information :

Project acronym: PRISMS

Project title: The PRIvacy and Security MirrorS: Towards a European framework for integrated decision making

Project number: 285399

Programme: Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development

Objective: SEC-2011.6.5-2: The relationship between Human privacy and security

Contract type: Collaborative project

Start date of project: 01 February 2012

Duration: 42 months

Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 17 Apr 2018 14:41
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 19:09

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