New project on public institutions’ surveillance practices

1 min. read

Every year more and more public money is invested in surveillance technologies – everything from drones and video surveillance to data mining software for public administration. Recently, the Polish government announced a new programme of co-financing surveillance cameras in the schools.

Why do governments spends public funds on surveillance without justifying such investments or evaluating their effects? Governments stick to standard excuses, like public security, regardless of the lack of evidence proving that more surveillance can bring more safety. Not only there is little public debate around such decisions, but also almost no information available about the companies that provide surveillance technologies. In its new project, EDRi-member Panoptykon Foundation will take a closer look at public investments in this particular area.

A group of experts will develop a catalogue of surveillance technologies purchased by Polish public institutions and list of companies delivering them. The experts will also analyse existing legal framework and verify whether Polish public institutions acted lawfully or not. Finally, there will be a comparison between the results of this research and the reports documenting security-industrial complex in other countries.

Panoptykon invites other organisations having already carried out their own research in this area, as well as those who would like to contribute to the work to get in touch, to find out about the opportunities to cooperate.

Anna Obem, Katarzyna Szymielewicz

The arcticle was originally published in EDRi-gram newsletter - Number 12.21, 5 November 2014.

Recommended reading:

New programme of co-financing surveillance camera in the schools (only in Polish, 01.10.2014)

Who benefits from surveillance? (only in Polish, 28.10.2014)