EUI SurPRISE Project Team


A large-scale participatory assessment of criteria and factors determining acceptability and acceptance of security technologies in Europe.

The relationship between security and privacy is commonly positioned as a ‘trade-off’. Where security solutions involve the collection of information about citizens, questions arise as to whether their privacy has been infringed. This infringement of individual privacy is sometimes seen as an acceptable cost of enhanced security. Similarly, citizens are seen as willing to trade-off their privacy for enhanced personal security in different settings. These common understandings of the security-privacy relationship, both at state and citizen levels, have informed policymakers, legislative developments and best practice guidelines concerning security developments across the EU.

An emergent body of work questions the validity of the security-privacy trade-off, suggesting that this has over-simplified the consideration of the impact and acceptability of security solutions on citizens in current security policy and practice. Complex issues underlie privacy concerns and public scepticism towards surveillance-oriented security solutions (SOSSs), which may not be apparent to legal and technological experts. In response, SurPRISE will consult with citizens from several EU member and associated states on the question of the security-privacy trade-off and evaluate the different security solutions.

EUI SurPRISE Project Team:

Professor of International Law and Human Rights Martin Scheinin

Professor of Public International Law,


Email: martin.scheinin  AT

Professor Martin Scheinin is a member of the Security Scrutiny Committee. The EUI will organize the Italian consultation with citizens, and is in charge of analysing the legal issues raised by the use of SOSSs and the related legislation. Participation is informed by the experience of Professor Scheinin in the field of human rights protection, counter terrorism and technology. Professor Scheinin was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights between 2005 and 2011. He participates in related European security projects including DETECTER (2009-2011) and SURVEILLE (2012-2015).

The 3-year project budget of €3,424,109 brings one full-time Research Assistant to the EUI: starting 1 February 2012, Maria Grazia Porcedda, LL.M., will be conducting her PhD at the EUI. The team also include Mathias Vermeulen, LLM, EMA and PhD candidate at Vrije Universiteit Brussels and Jonathan Andrew; LLM, MA, PhD candidate at the EUI.

Ms. Maria Grazia Porcedda

Research Assistant – SurPRISE

Email: maria.porcedda AT

Mr. Jonathan Andrew

Research Assistant – SurPRISE

Email: jonathan.andrew AT

Mr. Mathias Vermeulen

Research Assistant – SurPRISE

Email: mathias.vermeulen AT

SurPRISE is a multi-disciplinary collaborative research project under the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme to co-ordinate and contribute work on surveillance, privacy and security. It will conduct a large-scale participatory assessment of criteria and factors determining acceptability and acceptance of security technologies in Europe.

The partner institutions involved are: Oesterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Austria); Agencia de Proteccion de Datos de la Comunidad de Madrid (Spain); Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (Spain);

Teknologiradet-the Danish Board of Technology (Denmark); the European University Institute (Italy); Verein fur Rechts-und Kriminalsoziologie (Austria); Median Opinion and Market Research Limited Company (Hungary); Teknologiradet – the Norwegian Board of Technology (Norway); The Open University (United Kingdom); Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz Verein (Switzerland); and Unabhaengiges Landeszentrum fuer Datenschutz (Germany).