Being digital: Digital technologies and citizen-centred approaches to participation, surveillance and privacy

light-ideaCall for participants

CRISP is hosting a workshop to explore contemporary citizen-centred approaches to engaging citizens about their experiences of privacy in the digital world. The ways in which citizen participation and engagement are evolving in the digital world will also be explored. The workshop will feature a series of contributions from expert speakers. It is designed to be interactive and will provide opportunities for those attending to participate in the debate. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Attendance is free of charge, but places are limited and available on a ‘first come first served’ basis. To register a place at the workshop please email: before 17 February 2017.

Workshop Theme
In the digital era our ‘digital personas’ and the data streams we create become more important in determining how we relate to others, the services to which we get access and in shaping our life-chances. Whilst the extent of citizens’ involvement with digital technologies is easy to see, the processes associated with making digital technologies work, despite their significance, are opaque and difficult to understand. This workshop aims to examine contemporary citizen engagement mechanisms in order to understand the opportunities and constraints of participation in the digital era. Such practices include surveys, focus groups, public meetings, consultation exercises, citizens’ juries and panels. The workshop will focus on how these mechanisms have been used to engage citizens in relation to issues associated with privacy. A further focus will be to examine whether new digital technologies themselves offer opportunities to design citizen-centric engagement mechanisms and if so what challenges are posed to access, representation and effectiveness. Our use of digital services can also provide a wealth of information that can be used to inform public policy and service development. In this respect, participation in engagement activities happens by simply being digital. But how then may citizens engage with the production of digital innovations which so affect their privacy and their life chances?

The workshop aims to explore the implications of citizen-centred engagement mechanisms and citizens’ views about privacy in the digital era. Digitised versions of traditional participatory mechanisms and new digital ways of participating through the co-production of goods, services and public policy will be examined.

The workshop will seek to address a range of issues and questions, including:

• What mechanisms are useful for engaging citizens about issues associated with privacy?
• Do new digital technologies offer new ways to engage citizens?
• To what extent does the co-production of digital services imply a degree of citizen engagement?
• What are the methodological and practical issues associated with designing effective engagement mechanisms?
• Does engagement lead to better services and public policy?
• What is the citizen experience of being involved in such mechanisms?


Mhairi Quiroz-Aitken, University of Edinburgh: Public engagement with data science: Reflections on past experiences and future approaches.

Malcolm Oswald, University of Manchester: Health data, privacy and the public good: what can we learn from 4 citizens’ juries?

Tjerk Timan, Tilburg University: Turning surveillance on its head: The role and (double?) meaning of participation in studying surveillance.

Sally Dibb, University of Coventry, Engaging Citizens in the Privacy and Security Debate: Social Science meets the Citizen Summit Method

William Webster and Charles Leleux, University of Stirling: Smart governance and the co-production of public policy and services

Routledge Studies in Surveillance Book Series
CRISP intends to incorporate the presentations at the workshop into an edited collection for the new Routledge Studies in Surveillance Book Series, which is to be launched in 2017, and which is edited by the CRISP Directors.

Contact Details
T: @CrispSurv

Re-inventing privacy for the 21st century – why and how?

Visiting researcher Dr Tjerk Timan will deliver a seminar entitled ‘Re-inventing privacy for the 21st century – why and how?’ on Wednesday 15th February from 12 – 2pm. The seminar will be held in Lecture Room 2 in the School of Man
agement, The Gateway Building, North Haugh, St Andrews.


Due to novel ICTs, classical distinctions of spaces such as the home, the workplace, or public space are falling apart. One of the consequences of the blurring of such spaces is that core values in society are being influenced and modified by these new technologies: they are being challenged. One of the values I am interested in is privacy, be it in the home or in our streets. Not only socially the value of privacy is changing due to novel networks of information that are permeating almost all corners of life, also legally and regulatory, things are falling apart. Think for instance of the legal principle of “my home is my castle’ that is under threat due to technologies that allows to ‘look inside’, or the protection of personal data and belongings, that is under threat when phones are seized as an ‘accidental extra’ during an arrest.

Where the EU prides itself with being a forerunner when it comes to the regulation and protection of citizens’ data, there might be more at stake than only data, or ‘informational’ privacy in society. In a recent paper, we propose a new typology for privacy, in which we go beyond privacy as data protection only. In this talk, I will try to explain what we aim to do in this project, I will briefly highlight some cases and some theoretical lines of inquiry , to be ending up in a discussions that can take on many different directions. Guiding questions there can be: “is privacy still an adequate term when describing what is at stake?”, “what kinds of conceptual or regulatory solutions can be found to these problems” or “How and to what extend can we develop alternative paths of technology-development that is more privacy/ human-rights-friendly

Please let Kirstie Ball know if you would like to attend