Smart Privacy

Smart Environments with their inherent abundance of sensors lead to a situation where people who are inhabiting and using such environments have less and less control over the data being collected about them. The on-going discussion shows changing views on privacy and the related issues of trust and identity. One has to observe that they are mainly a result of the tricky trade-off for creating smartness. It is becoming more and more obvious that there is an interaction and balance/ trade-off between

  • being able to provide intelligent support based on collecting sensor data and using them for selecting and tailoring functionality to make the system “smart"
  • the right of people to be in control over which data are collected, by whom, how they are used, etc.

There is the danger that we will be moving from a situation where people considered privacy as a legal and moral right (and sometimes a socially negotiated feature) to a situation where it becomes a commodity to be traded or being paid for and thus a privilege for those who can afford it. Thus, it is necessary to provide so-called Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs).

So far, the issues of privacy have mainly been discussed in the context of interaction with and usage of web-based information systems as, e.g., social media networks, on-line shopping, etc.. It is time to broaden the perspective and to pay much more attention to the increasing importance of privacy issues in the context of using location-based services, of interacting with smart devices and environments, i.e. of interacting with the ingredients and components constituting
smart hybrid cities.


Norbert Streitz (2016). Smart Cities Need Privacy by Design for Being Humane.
In: Susa Pop, Tanya Toft, Nerea Calvillo, Mark Wright (Eds.),

What Urban Media Art Can Do - Why When Where and How ?
avedition (pp. 268 - 274).

Norbert Streitz (2016). Opportunities and Risks of Digitalization in the Context of Smart Hybrid Cities and Airports. In: Proceedings of USEWARE 2016 - Mensch-Technik-Interaktion im Industrie 4.0 Zeitalter. 8. VDI-VDE Fachtagung. VDI-Berichte 2271. VDI Wissensforum. VDI-Verlag (pp. 5 - 14).

Norbert Streitz (2015).
Citizen-Centered Design for Humane and Sociable Hybrid Cities. (Keynote). In: I. Theona & D. Charitos (Eds.), Hybrid City 2015 - Data to the People. Proc. of the Third International Biannual Conference. University of Athens, Greece. (pp. 17-20).