Boundary Management of Private Spaces in a Public Safety Context

In co-operation with the City of Rotterdam, CESAM initiated the research project ‘Managing privacy in a smart city‘. In response to rapidly expanding possibilities for smart urban governance through big data, privacy concerns are emerging both among citizens and government actors. Questions arise in many domains of governance about how to navigate trade-offs between efficient service, public safety and privacy. The research project will address these issues by developing a practised and networked understanding of privacy that allows for different situational and personal privacy needs to be recognised and met in practice.

To achieve this, the project team introduced a flexible concept of boundary management as a vital mechanism for balancing and safeguarding privacy concerns and public security needs. As this boundary management acquires an explicitly spatial dimension in the context of smart city policies, this project centres on both street-level and at-a-distance forms of surveillance and control, including practices of self- and co-surveillance among the citizenry.