Physical Cybersecurity

What can we learn from counter surveillance to design better products to protect citizens in smart cities?

In smart cities, technological solutions to increase efficiency and the quality of life, for example, to improve traffic flow, monitor air quality, or recognize violent offenders, are increasingly being deployed. However, the implementation of technologies such as biometric recognition software and digital passports will expose citizens to potentially undesirable consequences of these ubiquitous technologies.

We see an increasing number of examples where citizens use physical means to protect themselves from said technologies. Counter-Surveillance Culture (CSC) offers a unique glimpse into the values of modern-day citizens. CSC uses creative, often critical, security measures to protect the identity of individual citizens.

From relatively simple face masks, t-shirt prints that trick facial recognition algorithms, the grassroots approach of CSC challenges the current paradigm of the Smart City. It is expected that with the increasing presence of ubiquitous technologies in the smart city, citizens will adopt measures pioneered by CSC.

Questions such as when such measures are legitimate and when they are considered fraudulent, the effectiveness of the measures, and which new physical cybersecurity measure are expected to arise in the near future, are paramount to consider in the future development of the smart city.

This project focuses on Sustainable Development Goals: