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Designing for Socially Acceptable Security Technologies

Nissen, TG; (2014) Designing for Socially Acceptable Security Technologies. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Security technologies (STs) are increasingly being positioned, developed, and implemented as technological-fixes for addressing crime; never more so than in the wake of the numerous terrorist attacks beginning with September 11th 2001. However, despite the purported security benefits afforded citizens by these technologies, their smooth assimilation into society is never assured. STs which evoke social controversy and resistance fail to survive unscathed over the mid- to long-term; subjected instead to enforced modification, restrictions on acquisition, restrictions on use, or in the worst case scenario - outright banning. Such controversies can negatively affect the companies designing these STs, end-users who employ them, governments who authorise them, and citizens whose security may genuinely remain compromised. The aim of this thesis is to assist the developers and designers of STs in anticipating and mitigating negative societal responses to their technologies upstream in the design process. The logic being that; by targeting STs before they are completed those elements of design most likely to evoke controversy can be modified, which in turn will produce STs the public are more likely to afford legitimacy through acceptance. To achieve this aim, three objectives were set. The first was to identify the causes of social controversies arising from the design and operation of STs. Through repeated focussed case-studies of previous controversial STs a taxonomy of forty-three commonalities of controversy was produced. The second goal was to generate guidelines for the development of future methodological design-tools that could be produced to assist those developing STs in identifying these controversies. This was achieved by conducting interviews with scientists and engineers actively involved in the design and production of STs. Finally, this taxonomy and guidelines were applied to produce two prototypes of potential design tools; with one subsequently applied to an ongoing ST design project.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Designing for Socially Acceptable Security Technologies
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
Keywords: security, design, social acceptability
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1426195
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