A major aim of SurPRISE is to identify factors which contribute to the shaping of security technologies as effective, non-privacy-infringing and socially legitimate security devices. In particular, SurPRISE will pay attention to the way in which the problem-solution framework is constructed and re-constructed over time by the lay public.
SurPRISE re-examines the relationship between security and privacy, which is commonly positioned as a ‘trade-off’. Where security measures and technologies involve the collection of information about citizens, questions arise as to whether and to what extent their privacy has been infringed. This infringement of individual privacy is sometimes seen as an acceptable cost of enhanced security. Similarly, it is assumed that citizens are willing to trade off their privacy for enhanced personal security in different settings. This common understanding of the security-privacy relationship, both at state and citizen level, has informed policymakers, legislative developments and best practice guidelines concerning security developments across the EU.