Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

EFP Brief No. 154: Looking Forward in the ICT and Media Industry – Technological and Market Developments

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

The project was an activity within the framework contract between the European Parliament and ETAG, the European Technology Assessment Group, to carry out TA studies on behalf of the Parliament’s STOA Panel in view of the growing importance of a European science and technology policy. The purpose of this particular project was to identify current and expected technological and market developments in the field of ICT with an impact on the media industry and to indicate regulatory challenges and requirements stemming from the anticipated changes. The main target group are the Members of the European Parliament; the wider addressee is the interested public.

EFMN Brief No. 154_ICT and Media Industry

EFP Brief No. 152: Combining ICT and Cognitive Science: Opportunities and Risks

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Many experts think that the technological convergence of previously separated sciences like nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communication technologies and cognitive sciences will have a deep, long-term impact on society and economy. Key actors in society need to become aware of the challenges linked to converging applications (CA) and take decisions in support of developing them. By analysing CA-related opportunities and risks at a very early stage, we hope to contribute to reducing possible adverse effects in the future.

EFMN Brief No. 152_ICT and Cognitive Science

EFP Brief No. 147: ERoSC – The Socio-economic Impact of Emerging Social Computing Applications

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

ERoSC is an exploratory research project that aims at studying the socio-economic impact of emerging social computing applications. The exploratory research scheme of the European Commission Joint Research Centre’s Institute for Prospective Studies (IPTS) is an internal instrument aimed at building up competence in strategically relevant scientific fields. The ERoSC project has been awarded as the IPTS 2007  Exploratory Research project. Its purpose is to identify and discuss current and future socio-economic implications of social computing and to identify policy options for Europe.

A Multi-faceted Approach to Socioeconomic Impacts of Social Computing in European Context

In less than five years, social computing (SC), that is, digital applications that enable interaction and collaboration, whereby users are participants (co-creators not end-users) and interconnected (the network as a collective resource), has shifted from a niche activity into a phenomenon engaging tens of millions of Internet users. Nevertheless, there is very little research and evidence on the socio-economic impact of SC in the European context.

Set in this context, the main objectives of ERoSC can be summarised as follows:

  • explore the socio-economic impact of social computing;
  • assess the sustainability of social computing applications (business models and viability);
  • assess the position of Europe in this field; and identify options for EU research and innovation policies.

Technological innovations have been scanned for available supply and demand data. Usage and the impact of SC in specific sectors have been explored using different analytical techniques, such as case studies, comparison of existing data and in-depth interviews. Finally, an expert workshop was conducted to validate the data. Peer reviewing by experts was used as an additional quality management tool.

Measuring and Analysing Social Computing

Social Computing is entering into a new stage of development. Blogging, photo- and video-sharing, social networking and social gaming have been adopted by some half of Internet users worldwide (around 25% in Europe), and high levels of growth in Europe have been reported in areas like blogging or online video. New social platforms are emerging that enable people to create more and richer content, which in turn generates network effects.

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Social computing activates new market segments, for instance women or ‘silver surfers’ (people aged 55 or older).

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People interplay with technology in many different ways. The majority of users tend to be ‘free riders’, that is, using SC content created by a ‘thin’ layer of core users (the ‘creators’). In Europe, roughly a third of Internet users also make use of SC contents, 10% provide feedback, 10% share contents, and only around 3% are those ‘creators’. Moreover, the intensity of use of SC applications is very diverse, for instance, people can be at the same time ‘creators’ and ‘free riders’.

Mobile – the ‘Next Frontier’?

A lot of innovation is taking place around mobile social computing. Mobile social computing, however, does not mirror the user participation of desktop-based social computing. Only a small user base has so far adopted mobile social computing, though there is evidence of growth. In the EU (selected countries), almost a third of mobile subscribers upload videos or photos on video/photo-sharing sites, with only 2.6 % accessing a social network via their mobile phones and 5.5 % watching video online. Teens are the most active users of mobile social computing.

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The ‘Tag Cloud’ of Social Impacts of Social Computing

Social computing allows for more room for personal and social creativity, and it is a new means to develop and construct personal identities. Moreover, identity is now transformed by technology.

The ‘always–on’ trend raises concerns about this new form of dependency, where people need to first communicate with others to feel their own feelings. The networks of virtual ‘friends’ becomes as significant as ‘real’ life ones, evolving into new forms of social capital that is, social computing will encourage social networks that are well connected (bonding social capital) rather than bridge between different networks (bridging social capital). The proximity of celebrity condition gets closer (‘my 15-minutes of fame’).

Social computing allows for enhanced social participation, for instance in politics, and better informed citizens for different roles in society, such as as a voter, learner, patient or consumer.

At the same time, the dynamics of privacy is changing.  Personal data recorded in databases are ‘perfectly transferable in space,[and] indefinitely preservable in time’ (Poster 1995). New social threats are emerging such as stalking and bullying or chains of suicides.

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Economic Impacts of Social Computing

Social computing provides sources of revenue both for users and platforms. More important, social computing is a driver for competitiveness. Impacts can be observed on industry itself, for example media or ICT industry, but also on other industries using SC. More targeted marketing and user research, both based on user profiles and content interests, are opening new channels to markets. New employment possibilities are emerging through social networks and new opportunities to utilize user innovations for product development or as an interface between companies and customers and for more efficient work processes.

In order to realize the potential positive impact, there is a need to meet a number of challenges of productivity, security and training.

Policy Options for Europe

In order to put forward informed policy implications, proper measurements are needed. There is a lack, however, of internationally comparable data on social computing from national statistical sources, while data is available coming mostly from non-official sources. This points to the need for better and systematic measurements and internationally comparable data. Improvement of official statistics (e.g. OECD, Eurostat) by adding categories of Internet use by activity questions to surveys could be one possible avenue for meeting this need.

The implications of social computing for policies for education, health, inclusion and for the policy making process itself should be considered. In addition, policies could be developed to provide the necessary framework conditions that would favour people and companies (in particular start-ups) staying in Europe, including promoting entrepreneurship and dealing with intellectual property rights (IPR) and copyright issues that might prevent the further development of SC.

There is also room for policy activities to address social cohesion and exclusion of groups of people such as elderly and migrants, to support democratisation and eParticipation processes.

Another European strength lies with mobile technologies and mobile connectivity, together with a marked lead in mobile devices, hence providing a possibility for Europe to further develop relevant services, applications and platforms for mobile 2.0.  An opportunity for Europe would also be to provide better access to public data, as such data are typically used in SC applications (e.g. mash-ups) to provide added value. Opening public data sets to allow citizens to create their own services could provide a boost to the use of SC, providing privacy and security concerns are adequately accommodated.

Authors: Corina Pascu                        corina.pascu@ec.europa.eu
Sponsors: European Commission,  The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies JRC-IPTS
Type: Exploratory research (internal research scheme)
Organizer: European Commission, The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies JRC-IPTS, IS Unit   Contact: Yves Punie            yves.punie@ec.europa.eu
Duration: 2007 – 2008
Budget: n.a.
Time Horizon: 2010
Date of Brief: June 2008

Download: EFMN Brief No. 147_ERoSC – Social Computing

Sources and References

http://is.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ is the main website where all reports and other information will be made available.

Pascu, C. (2008), ‘An Empirical Analysis of the Creation, Use and Adoption of Social Computing Applications’, EUR 23415, IPTS Report, European Commission,at http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/JRC46431.pdf

Ala-Mutka, K. (2008), “Social Computing: the case of collaborative content”, IPTS Report, European Commission, forthcoming.

Cachia, R. (2008), “Social Computing: the case Social networking”, IPTS Report, European Commission, forthcoming.

Punie, Y., (Ed.) (2008) “The Socio-Economic Impact of Social Computing: Proceedings of a validation and policy options

EFP Brief No. 145: Constructing Dark Scenarios for Privacy Policy Formulation

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

In the last few decades, scenarios have provided a way of analysing the implications of alternative futures, especially as they might be impacted by new technologies. This has been no less true of ambient intelligence (AmI), which may be embedded everywhere in the not so distant future. Most of the scenarios developed by AmI enthusiasts have been rather “sunny”, showing how new technologies promise to make our lives more productive and enriching. A European project called SWAMI (Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence) deliberately developed “dark scenarios” to highlight the threats to privacy, identity, trust and security and inclusiveness posed by new technologies. This brief describes the SWAMI scenarios and the methodology used to construct and analyse them.

SWAMI Dark Scenarios

While most AmI scenarios paint the promise of the new tech-nologies in sunny colours, there is a dark side to AmI as well. In a way, this dark side is inherent in the very nature of AmI, for instance, the fact that AmI technologies will deliver per-sonalised services to users means that somewhere a lot of per-sonal information needs to be stored about the user. That being the case, there are risks that the user’s personal information can be abused, either accidentally or intentionally. These risks have been recognised by policy-makers and researchers, and were at the heart of the SWAMI project, funded by the Euro-pean Commission under its Sixth Framework Programme.
The project began in February 2005 and finished 18 months later. The SWAMI consortium had five partners: the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (Germany), the Technical Research Center of Finland (VTT Electronics), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS, Spain) of the EC’s Joint Research Centre, and Trilateral Research & Consulting (UK).
One of the tasks of the project was to create and analyse four dark scenarios that highlight the key socio-economic, legal, technological and ethical risks to privacy, identity, trust and security posed by new AmI technologies. They were called “dark scenarios”, a term coined to signify things that could go wrong in an AmI world, because they present visions of the future that we do not want to become reality. The objective of the scenarios was to expose threats and vulnerabilities as a way to inform policy-makers and planners.
The process in constructing the scenarios began with an exten-sive review of existing AmI-related projects and studies. Fol-lowing a workshop with other AmI experts to discuss the most important threats and vulnerabilities posed by AmI, the SWAMI partners had a brainstorming session until we agreed on the rough outlines of four contrasting scenarios. We then developed these outlines into scenario stories or scripts. To ground the scenarios in reality – to ensure that they were not too far-fetched – we did a “technology check” (are the technologies referenced in the scenarios probable?) and a “reality check” (are there press reports of events similar to those mentioned in the scenarios?). Then each partner reviewed all of the scenar-ios in order to eliminate doubtful points, unnecessary wordage,irrelevancies, etc., and to sharpen them to illustrate the points to be emphasised. Once the scenarios were “stable”, we per-formed an analysis of them, including a legal analysis. The scenarios and associated analyses were presented at a second SWAMI workshop in order to benefit from the comments of other experts. This scenario-construction process can be de-picted as follows:

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The resulting four scenarios, elaborated in our book, Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence (see the references below), are the following:

Dark scenario 1: A typical family in different environments – presents AmI vulnerabilities in the life of a typical family moving through different environments. It introduces dark situations in the smart home, at work and while taking a lunch break in a park.

Dark scenario 2: Seniors on a journey – also references a family but focuses more specifically on senior citizens on a bus tour. An exploited vulnerability in the traffic system causes an accident, raising many different problems related to both travel and health AmI systems.

Dark scenario 3: Corporate boardroom & court case – involves a data-aggregating company that becomes the victim of a theft of personal AmI-generated data that fuel its core business. Given its dominant position in the market, the company wants to cover this up but ends up in court two years later. The scenario also highlights the disparities between countries with AmI networks and those without.

Dark scenario 4: Risk society – from the studios of a morning news programme, this scenario portrays the AmI world as a risk society. It presents an action group against personalised profiling; the digital divide at a global scale and, related to environmental concerns, the possible vulnerabilities of AmI traffic systems and crowd management.

 Elements in the SWAMI  Scenario Methodology

The SWAMI consortium devised a methodology, an analytical structure for both constructing and deconstructing scenarios, not only the SWAMI scenarios, but many other technologyoriented scenarios. The analytical structure comprises the following elements or activities:

Framing the scenario

This first step summarises the scenario in question and explains its context – who are the main actors in the scenario, what happens to them, what they do, how far into the future is the scenario, where does it take place and in what domain (home, office, on the move, shopping, etc). It identifies the type of scenario (trend, normative, explorative) and key assumptions (e.g., intelligent technologies will be embedded everywhere in rich countries, but not in poor countries).

Identifying the technologies and/or devices

Next, the most important AmI technologies and/or devices used and/or implied in the scenarios are identified.

Identifying the applications

The analysis then considers the applications that emerge in each scenario and that are supported by the technologies mentioned in the previous step.

The drivers

The analysis identifies the key drivers that impel the scenario or, more particularly, the development and use of the applications. Drivers are typically socio-economic, political or environmental forces, corporate ambitions or personal motivations (e.g., greed).

Issues

Next, the major issues raised by the scenarios are identified and explicated. A discussion of the issues considered the threats and vulnerabilities exposed by the scenario, their impacts and legal implications.

Conclusions

The final step is a reality check of the scenario itself (how likely is it?) and a consideration of what should be done to address the issues it raises.

Large-scale Data Availability Multiplies Threats and Vulnerabilities

The SWAMI scenarios highlighted many of the threats and vulnerabilities that we foresee afflicting the AmI world. The principal difference (in our view) between an AmI world and that which we know today is the scale of the data available. When everything is embedded with intelligence, when AmI is pervasive and invisible, when everything is connected and linked, the threats and vulnerabilities that we know today will multiply. In an AmI world, we can expect to be under surveillance (“transparent”) wherever we go because the permanent and real-time registration and processing of our presence and behaviour is the precondition – the “code” – of ambient intelligence.

The threats to our privacy, however we define it, can come from many different sources. Here are some of the principal ones that affect us today and we can assume will still be threats in an AmI world:

  • hackers and attackers,
  • function creep,
  • surveillance,
  • profiling,
  • lack of public awareness or concern about privacy rights,
  • lack of enforcement and oversight of privacy rights,
  • erosion of rights and values,
  • uncertainties about what to protect and about the costs of protection and privacy erosion,
  • government and industry are less than forthright about the personal data they collect and/or how they use that data

Is Protection Feasible? – Safeguards

The multiplicity of threats and vulnerabilities associated with AmI will require a multiplicity of safeguards. We grouped safeguards into three main approaches:

  • technological,
  • socio-economic,
  • legal and regulatory.

Technological Safeguards – Need for Sophisticated Methods for Controlling Data Collection and Use

The main privacy-protecting principles in network applications are anonymity, pseudonymity, unlinkability and unobservability. The main difference between existing network applications and emerging AmI applications is two-fold: first, in the former case, the user has some understanding of which data about him or her are collected, and has some means to restrict data collection: e.g., to use a public computer anonymously to access certain web pages; to switch off his or her mobile phone, to pay cash instead of using a web service, etc. In the latter case, with the environment full of numerous invisible sensors (and video cameras), it is difficult, if not impossible, for users to understand and to control data collection and to achieve unobservability, anonymity and pseudonymity. Intelligent data processing, limiting linkability and implementing strong access control to collected data seem to be the main ways of protecting privacy in such applications. However, such applications present potential privacy threats anyway if the police, intelligence agencies, family members or criminals can search through devices that store personal data.

A second important difference between existing network applications and emerging AmI applications is that neither mobile devices nor web usage penetrates through such strong privacy-protecting borders as walls and the human body, but physiological, video and audio sensors, proposed for AmI applications, will have much stronger capabilities to identify a person and to reveal personal activities and feelings.

Consequently, future AmI applications will require stronger safeguards, many of which are not yet fully developed. Hence,

we proposed research on developing privacy-protecting safeguards such as:

  • communication protocols which either do not require a unique device identifier at all or which require authorisation for accessing the device identifier;
  • network configurations that can hide the links between senders and receivers of data;
  • improving access control methods by multimodal fusion, context-aware authentication and unobtrusive biometric modalities (especially behavioural biometrics, because they pose a smaller risk of identity theft) and by liveness detection in biometric sensors;
  • enforcing legal requirements and personal privacy policies by representing them in machine-readable form and attaching these special expressions to personal data, so that they specify how data processing should be performed, allow a privacy audit and prevent any other way of processing;
  • developing fast and intuitive means of detecting privacy threats, informing the user and configuring privacy policies;
  • increasing hardware and software capabilities for realtime data processing in order to minimise the lifetime and amount of raw data in a system;
  • increasing software intelligence by developing methods to detect and to hide sensitive data;
  • developing user-friendly means for recovery when security or privacy has been compromised.

Socio-economic Safeguards Require Cooperation

Co-operation between producers and users of AmI technology in all phases from R&D to deployment is essential to address some of the threats and vulnerabilities posed by AmI. Among the socio-economic safeguards we proposed were these:

  • standards,
  • privacy audits,
  • codes of practice,
  • trust marks and trust seals,
  • reputation systems and trust-enhancing mechanisms,
  • service contracts with strong privacy protections,
  • guidelines for ICT research,
  • raising public awareness,
  • including privacy, identity and security issues in the professional education curricula of computer scientists,
  • media attention, bad publicity and public opinion.

Legal and Regulatory Safeguards  – Transparency Is Key

SWAMI identified some serious legal problems when applying the existing legal framework to address the intricacies of an AmI environment. We found that most of the challenges arising in the

new AmI environment should be addressed by transparency tools (such as data protection and security measures). Transparency should be the default, although some prohibitions referring to political balances, ethics and core legal concepts should be considered too.

A set of rules needs to be envisaged to guarantee procedural safeguards similar to those currently applicable to the protection of our homes against state intervention (e.g., requiring a search warrant). Technical solutions aimed at defending private digital territories (the private sphere of the individual no matter where he is) against intrusion should be encouraged and, if possible, legally enforced.  The individual should be empowered with the means to freely decide what kind of information he or she is willing to disclose. Such protection could be extended to the digital movement of the person, that is, just as the privacy protection afforded the home has been or can be extended to the individual’s car, so the protection could be extended to home networks, which might contact external networks.

All employees should always be clearly and a priori informed about the employee surveillance policy of the employer (when and where surveillance is taking place, what is the finality, what information is collected, how long it will be stored, what are the (procedural) rights of the employees when personal data are to be used as evidence, etc.).

The status of pseudonymity under the law needs further clarification, whether pseudonyms should be regarded as anonymous data or as personal data falling under the data protection regime.

The obligation of data protection law to inform the data subject about when and which data are collected, by whom and for what purpose gives the data subject the possibility to react to mistakes or abuses, and enables him to enforce his right in case of damage. It would be desirable to provide the individual not only with information about what data are processed, but also what knowledge has been derived from the data. This might imply a rethinking of data protection law.

A means to prevent data laundering could be envisaged which would create an obligation for those who buy or otherwise acquire databases, profiles and vast amounts of personal data, to check diligently the legal origin of the data. An obligation could be created to notify the national data protection authorities when personal data(bases) are acquired. Those involved or assisting in data laundering could be subject to criminal sanctions.

Profiling practices and the consequent personalisation of the ambient intelligence environment lead to an accumulation of power in the hands of those who control the profiles and should therefore be made transparent.

Simply identifying safeguards is not sufficient, of course, so the SWAMI consortium went further and specifically addressed recommendations to the European Commission, member states, industry, academia, civil society organisations and individuals.  The reader interested in more details should consult the references below.

 

Authors: David Wright                                       david.wright@trilateralresearch.com
Sponsors: European Commission / DG Information Society and Media
Type: Field/sector specific
Organizer: B-1049 Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 2005 – 2006
Budget: € 399,797
Time Horizon: 2017
Date of Brief: July 2008

Download: EFMN Brief No. 145_Dark Scenarios

References

Wright, David, Serge Gutwirth, Michael Friedewald et al., “Privacy, trust and policy-making: challenges and responses”, Computer Law and Security Review, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2009 [forthcoming].

Wright, David, Serge Gutwirth, Michael Friedewald et al., Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence, Springer, Dordrecht, 2008.

Wright, David, “Alternative futures: AmI scenarios and Mi-nority Report”, Futures, Vol. 40, No. 1, June 2008, pp. 473-488.

Wright, David, Michael Friedewald et al., “The illusion of security”, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 51, Issue 3, March 2008, pp. 56-63.

Wright, David, Serge Gutwirth and Michael Friedewald, “Shining light on the dark side of ambient intelligence”, Fore-sight, April 2007, pp. 46-59.

EFP Brief No. 134: Future Challenge for Europe: Providing Security and Safety to Citizens

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

As stated in the recent EC Communication on ‘Reforming the budget, changing Europe’ (SEC (2007) 1188), the European Union has a key role to play in ‘providing security and safety to citizens’. Especially in the aftermath of 11th Sept. 2001 security related issues are becoming an increasingly important facet of global society and have an increasing impact on economy and science. The issues are manifold and include protecting citizens and state from organized crime, preventing terrorist acts, and responding to natural and manmade disasters. Civil security issues are becoming more and more important to governments and national economies across the globe, and the EU is no exception. The EC sees security research as an important policy objective, which started in 2001 with a Preparatory Action on Security Research (PASR) and is now the tenth theme of the FP7 Cooperation programme. Security and safety technologies are seen to have applications in many sectors including transport, civil protection, energy, environment, health and financial systems.

Analysing EFMN Documents: TextAnalyst

A selection of 160 foresight and futures studies was taken from the EFMN database. These were studies with different backgrounds, scopes, themes, horizons and on different scales. The semantic data-mining tool ‘TextAnalyst’ was employed to analyse the texts. First, out of the 160 studies, a small number of relevant studies was selected that had titles strongly related to the researched topic. TextAnalyst analysed these texts and found the most relevant keywords and semantic relations between the most important words. These terms were compiled into a keyword list for the researched topic. This list of keywords was used to analyse all 160 selected studies. The TextAnalyst
yielded all sentences containing any of the keywords, with an additional hyperlink in the text file allowing to view
the context in which the sentence occurred. The TextAnalyst also gave a semantic relation between the searched keywords and other words. The related terms thus identified were added to the list of keywords. The summary of sentences that contained one or more words from the list of keywords was manually read in the original context and if the sentence or the section where the sentence occurred was regarded as providing new or additional information, this section was copied into a text file. In order to avoid any extreme out-of-context copying of sentences, statements that were part of a scenario description were not added to the file. After this analysis of the 160 studies, a text file was created containing sections of the original studies with information related to the selected topic
and the reference to the original document. The dictionary for the analysis presented here consisted of the
following terms: anticipation, crisis, defence, defence, emergency, enemy, intelligence, military, NBC, NRBC, prevention, protection, risk, safety, secure, security, surveillance, terrorism, terrorist, threat and weapon. This analysis is exclusively based on the review of 36 foresights and future-oriented studies completed between 2000 and 2007 – most of them in 2004-2005. While most studies were carried out at a national level in Europe, the pool of sources also included seven studies conducted at the EU-level, eight Japanese national studies, the
global study AC-UNU Millennium project, the supranational study on information and communication technology (ICT) in the Nordic countries, and one Finnish study of regional scope.

Limitations of the Analysis

Attention should be paid to the fact that, while all 36 studies address certain safety and security issues, they are not all equally detailed. In particular, whereas some foresights (e.g. the UK Foresight) provide an in-depth analysis of the state-of-theart of technology, as well as a detailed forward look, the significance of some one-sentence statements, as they are typically made in Delphi studies such as the 8th Japanese National Foresight, may be more limited. Such statements have been considered very carefully so as not to bias the analysis. From the above, it follows that the following analysis – based on a restricted number of foresights – neither intends to be exhaustive nor to provide an overview of security and safety-related issues weighted according to their importance for future EU policies. However, it might provide some interesting insights about future safety and security threats – as predicted in foresights – as well as how future technological, societal or economic developments and policies might help to combat them. Since some of the analysed foresights are quite old, this means that some of the proposed actions could already have been implemented.

Safety & Security:  A Crosscutting Issue

Safety and security issues are generally related to all kinds of natural and human-induced (intentional and non-intentional) disasters or risks, which can affect individuals, societies or nations. Important technological and political tasks in the context of the protection of citizens and vital infrastructures have addressed a broad spectrum of issues such as future threats and vulnerabilities of critical infrastructures in key sectors (e.g. information systems, financial systems, industrial plants, public buildings, transport systems and infrastructures, communication networks, energy infrastructures, food distribution systems, etc) or the impact of terrorism and organized crime on the development of civil societies.

From the selected studies two major areas were identified bearing future risks for society: civil security and IT security. The area of civil security can be divided into subsections as follows:

  • terrorism and crime prevention,
  • ensuring the safety and security of critical infrastructures,
  • food and chemicals safety, and
  • threats from climate change and natural disasters.

Civil Security

Terrorism and Crime Prevention

Terrorism is expected to become a growing threat to all parts of society in the future mainly for two reasons. Firstly, due to the NRBC (nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical) weapons, the proliferation of ballistic, tactical and cruise missiles, and, on another level, the proliferation of small arms, the use of technological objects (e.g. civilian aircraft) as weapons and the transfer of technical know-how have multiplied risk factors for our societies. Also terrorist activities are becoming networked and are increasingly seeking points of entry into international business and, through corruption, into public administration.

The threat from terrorism must be counteracted by increased international cooperation on all levels and increased spending for security.

Another aspect raised by the study by the Finnish Committee for the Future is that because of continued synergy among, and miniaturization of, everything from chemistry sets and pharmaceutical manufacturing to genetic and nanotech engineering terrorist attacks will be much simpler to conduct in the future. Eventually an individual (single individual being massively destructive, SIMAD), acting alone, will be able to create and deploy a weapon of mass destruction.

In the broader context of terrorism, general crime prevention is an important aspect. The Japanese studies suggest that the security provided by governments will deteriorate in the future; thus people must provide for their own protection. Means like physical access control and burglary alarm systems for private homes are seen to be possible substitutes. The British study ‘Strategic Futures Thinking’ concludes that new technologies, such as DNA profiling, will prove increasingly vital in criminal trials as will more sophisticated detection, surveillance and monitoring devices in the wider field of crime prevention.

Safety and Security of Critical Infrastructures

Energy and transport infrastructures (so-called ‘critical infrastructures’) are crucial to economy and society. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that their safety and security is addressed in different foresights – at a national and supranational level. The Finnish foresight ‘Finnsight 2015’, for instance, stresses the fact that modern societies have increasingly become vulnerable in the sense that any malfunctioning or failure of critical infrastructures may paralyse the whole society. The foresights identify several threats to critical infrastructures:

  • Critical infrastructures increasingly rely on ICT applications and they more and more depend on the reliability of broad and complex ICT networks. Protecting critical infrastructures is therefore closely related to protecting the ICT networks they are based on. In this regard, ICT liability has to be ensured; it will also be particularly important to prevent criminal intrusion and the misuse of networked-based infrastructures.
  • Of course, on a global scale, terrorism is expected to remain one of the main threats in the future. Several foresights such as the Fistera study and the UK Foresight therematching them with the personal identification provided at the point of embarkation). Indeed, the terrorism threat is expected to give further momentum to the development of specific markets such as imaging technologies (allowing for instance the detection of suicide bombers in case remote identification and containment become reality).
  • Transport safety for citizens also implies reducing the risk of accidents. Thanks to the diffusion and increasing affordability of ICT, use of intelligent transport systems based on telematics as well as video-surveillance systems are expected to become more widespread to improve transport safety, for instance, by reacting in case fatigue, recreational drug use or medication impair the performance of the driver of a car or the pilot of a plane. Intelligent transport systems may also help maximise transport and logistics efficiency leading to benefits in terms of increased productivity and economic growth.

Food and Chemical Safety

Quite surprisingly, and despite their relevance for everyday life and everyone’s health, issues related to food safety is rarely addressed by the foresights screened. Some, however, do highlight that ensuring food safety requires assessing the long-term impact of harmful chemicals (e.g. heavy metals) on human beings, crops, as well as livestock. Food safety is therefore closely related to preventing damage to the environment due to chemicals in general. Standardized and socially approved tools for the risk assessment of chemicals should hence be developed. In this regard, chemical analysis is expected to be facilitated in the future through the use of miniature chemical analysis systems. Regarding functional foods, the monitoring of the long-term consequences of their use is underscored as essential. The EU may have a role to play in assessing health claims and the safety of new functional food products entering the market. Providing transparent information on health issues, safe threshold limits for specific functional food products, as well as on storage requirements will also contribute to promoting food safety for the consumer.

Threats from Climate Change  and Natural Disasters

Some studies emphasize the risk from climate change and natural disasters. Particularly in Japan the risk from natural disasters such as volcano eruptions, avalanches and earthquakes is addressed. The development of new predictive systems is proposed. Systems to observe disasters such as communications satellites, GPS, unmanned aircraft, and so on should be implemented in order to better understand situations after disasters have occurred and to be able to respond more swiftly.

Nearly all studies addressing climate change raise the issue of flooding – often in connection with the expected rise of the sea level. For instance the UK Foresight study claims that climate change will have a high impact under every scenario due to two threats. Firstly, the coasts are expected to be especially at risk: relative sea-level rise could increase the risk of coastal flooding by four to ten times. Secondly, precipitation is expected to increase flood risks across the country by two to four times. Flooding in towns and cities will be one of the greatest challenges in the future. Building in areas at risk from flooding should be avoided or, if inevitable, space should be provided to accommodate flooding in river and coastal areas. In this context, the development of effective modelling capabilities to predict flooding and manage flood routes in intra-urban areas should be pursued.

The study by the Finnish Committee for the Future also expects that change in precipitation will result in water tables falling on all continents. Droughts in areas where 40% of the population depends on watersheds controlled by two or more countries call for new water management strategies that can mitigate the effects of migration, conflicts, etc.  The threat of storm surges in coastal areas will increase due to rising sea levels combined with changes in the number, location, and strength of storms.

Although flooding is seen as one of the main challenges of the future, at the same time, it is also acknowledged that predictions in this area are steeped in uncertainty, as in the case of climate change or demographic and socio-economic trends. Thus, one has to develop robust water management strategies that will yield satisfactory living conditions for a wide range of possible scenarios.

IT Security

IT security in general is seen as a major topic of the future. Society depends on vulnerable, complex information technology systems, which need to be protected.

One major issue is the protection of privacy in the sense of protection against loss of control over one’s personal data. Already nowadays, Wikis and mostly blogs may contain data and information about an individual that could easily be disclosed to unauthorised others, given the low levels of security and privacy protection implemented so far. This risk will be enhanced in the future because of the widespread use of ambient intelligence (AmI) with its heterogeneity (in contrast to closed, codesigned systems), its complexity of hardware and software (introducing the dependability challenge), its distribution of knowledge and resources (co-operation and interconnection), as well as the foreseen mobility needs (which introduces more vulnerability than in a static world). Radio frequency identification (RFID) implants in people can also cause a threat to privacy, since they permit easy and instantaneous identification and authentication of individuals. On the other hand, they can increase security, for example, by enabling parents to easily track down their children in case of abduction.

The major challenge is to balance privacy and security needs. There are various ways to protect privacy in the future. Legislation to protect data of a personal nature is one of them. Another is by implementing new security measures. The level of privacy and security will be defined more by the location from where data are accessed than by the place where they are actually physically stored.

Another fast-growing area will be the provision of trust and guarantee services in the payments markets. A suggested new measure is establishing a clearinghouse where banks can anonymously share information about security breaches. Also, telecommunication companies are increasingly offering payment services. The introduction of m-payment systems will require new risk management systems and co-operation between different providers. It also calls for improved protection of confidential data provided by customers. Although wireless networks already provide a more secure network than the ones offered in fixed-line markets, there is need for further measures. Among those suggested are enhanced use of digital signatures (a kind of unique electronic stamp), authentication and encryption. One study suggests replacing binary network security (access or not) by more complex security mechanisms thereby granting differential access to different actors.

Three Prevailing Issues

Taking the limits of the applied methodology into account, the analysis of 36 foresights and future-oriented studies, which were completed between 2000 and 2007, yielded three major security and safety issues: terrorism, IT security and natural disaster protection in the context of the global climate change. Concerning terrorism, studies seem to perceive growing future threats to all parts of society mainly because of modern societies’ increasing dependence on computer networks and critical infrastructures and also because of the growing proliferation of NRBC agents, ballistic missiles and small arms. In the broader context of terrorism general crime prevention is also an important aspect.
IT security in general is seen as a major concern of the future. Important issues in this field are related to the protection of privacy in terms of protecting against the loss of control over personal data and to the containment of future risks connected with the widespread use of ambient intelligence (AmI), RFID chips or wireless networks. The studies addressing natural disaster protection predict rising global threats of climate change causing flooding, storms and other weather anomalies in the future. Such studies also expect that the change in precipitation will result in water tables falling on all continents, which calls for new water management strategies capable of mitigating the effects of migration, conflicts, etc.

Authors: Anette Braun (braun_a@vdi.de),   Nils Elsner (elsner@vdi.de), Andreas Hoffknecht (hoffknecht@vdi.de),  Sabine Korte (korte@vdi.de), Sylvie Rijkers-Defrasne (rijkers@vdi.de), Olav Teichert (teichert@vdi.de) – Future Technologies Division at VDI TZ
Type: Overview
Date of Brief: February 2008

 

Sources and References

  • ‘Reforming the budget, changing Europe – A public consultation paper in view of the 2008/2009 budget review’, Commission of the European Communities, SEC(2007)1188 final, Brussels, 12.9.2007.
  • ‘Meeting the challenge: the European security research agenda’, report of the European Security Research Advisory Board, September 2006.
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and foods (2005)
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Electronics (2005)
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Environment (2005)
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Frontier (2005)
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Information and Communications (2005)
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Manufacturing (2005)
  • 8th Japanese Foresight – Social Technology (2005)
  • AC-UNU Millenium Project – Antiterrorism Scenarios (2005)
  • Austrian BMVIT Safety and Security Research 2011 – EFMN Brief 33 (2005)
  • Dutch NRLO – Functional Foods Position and Future Perspectives (2001)
  • EC Ambient Intelligence in Everyday Life (AmI@Life) (2003)
  • EC High Level Expert Group (HLEG) – Foresighting the New Technology Wave

– Converging Technologies – Shaping the Future of European Societies (2004)

  • EC IPTS – D1gital Territ0ries (2007)
  • EC IPTS – The Future of M-payments (2001)
  • EC IPTS-ESTO – Future Bottlenecks in the Information Society (2001)
  • EC IPTS-ESTO Roadmapping Project – Healthcare Technologies Roadmapping – The Effective Delivery of Healthcare (2003)
  • Finnish Committee for the Future – Democracy and Futures (2006)
  • Finnish ESF – Uusimaa 2035 Scenario Project (2004)
  • Finnish TEKES – FinnSight 2015 (whole exercise) (2006)
  • FISTERA – Key European Technology Trajectories – 2nd Report (2004)
  • French FutuRIS (2004)
  • French Ministry of Defence – PP30 – Prospective Plan of the French Defense Policy in 30 Years (2004)
  • Turning the Water Wheel Inside Out. Foresight Study on Hydrological Science in The Netherlands (2005)
  • UK DEFRA – Climate Change Scenarios for the United Kingdom (2002)
  • Greek National Technological Foresight (Whole Exercise) (2005)
  • Ireland Marine Foresight (2005)
  • Japanese Optoelectronic Industry and Technology Development Association – Optical Technology Roadmap (2003)
  • Nordic Innovation Centre – ICT Foresight – Nordic foresight and visions on ICT in healthcare, security, the experience economy and production systems (2005-2007)
  • Strategic Futures Thinking – meta-analysis on published material on drivers and trends (2001)
  • UK National Foresight – Cyber Trust and Crime Prevention (2004)
  • UK National Foresight – Exploiting the Electromagnetic Spectrum (2004)
  • UK National Foresight – Flood and Coastal Defence (2004)
  • UK National Technology Foresight Programme – Foresight IT 2000 (2000)
  • UK National Technology Foresight Programme – Foresight Financial Services (2000)
  • UK National Technology Foresight Programme – Crime Prevention Panel

(2000)

 

Download: EFMN Brief No. 134_Safety_and_Security

EFP Brief No. 131: Banks & Future Preparing for the Scenario 2015

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

In the Innovation Forum “Banks & Future” (Innovationsforum “Bank & Zukunft”) under the academic direction of Fraunhofer IAO (Germany), numerous banks and IT service companies have pooled their competences with regard to future trends in the banking sector. Their aim is to identify market-oriented opportunities for development and structural and technical optimisation potential, to bring together users and producers of technologies in the banking sector, and to initiate the necessary innovation processes. Ever since this research initiative was started in July 2004, a yearly trend survey has been part of the research work.

Innovation in Sales and Industrialised Processes

In the Innovation Forum “Banks & Future” numerous banks and IT service companies have pooled their competences under the academic direction of Fraunhofer IAO with regard to future trends in the banking sector in Germany and in Europe. Their aim is to identify market-oriented opportunities for development and structural and technical optimisation potential, to bring together users and producers of technologies in the banking sector, and to initiate the necessary innovation processes. The main aspect is to enforce competitiveness through innovation in sales and industri-alised processes by adopting an integrated view. Use of modern information technology is seen as an enabler of future business models. In the meantime, the Innovation Forum “Banks & Fu-ture” has become an internationally accepted trademark for re-search and development in the financial services sector. It addresses innovative companies having a vital interest in advancing existing business processes as well as utilising the potential of innovative technologies.

Coping with Change in the Banking Industry

The main challenges which banks have to face in defining future business strategies include the following aspects:

  • conceiving scenarios for future banking to cope with changing markets in the financial services sector,
  • innovation in sales (new sales models, reorganisation of sales structures and processes),
  • identifying success factors for the optimisation of proc-esses within extended value chains in the context of the industrialisation of the financial services sector,
  • designing innovation processes for enhancing institutional abilities to react to changes in an innovative way,
  • developing personnel, organisational and technical infra-structures for the implementation of future business mod-els in banking.

Research Approach

The following figure shows the project’s main areas of research.

The Innovation Forum’s research approach seeks to develop practical solutions and applications by

  • trend analysis of the German and the European retail banking market,
  • surveys in the industrial and technological sector and, on this basis, drawing inferences for the banking industry,
  • test and demonstration of innovative IT solutions at the show case “Banks & Future” at Fraunhofer IAO in Stuttgart.

Partners

The Innovation Forum “Banks & Future” was initiated in 2004 by Fraunhofer IAO and IBM Deutschland GmbH. Since the beginning of this joint research project, the following partners were involved in the research process: 3X-Banktechnik, Akademie Deutscher Genossenschaften ADG, Allen International Ltd., arvato logistics services – arvato distribution GmbH, Berliner Volksbank eG, Bosch Sicherheitssysteme GmbH, Cisco Systems GmbH, Citibank Privatkunden AG & Co. KGaA, Commerzbank AG, DaimlerChrysler Bank AG, Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank, DWP-Bank, Elaxy GmbH, Equens AG, Fiducia IT AG, GAD eG, inasys Gesellschaft für Informations- und Analyse-Systeme GmbH, Nord/LB Informationstechnologie GmbH, MVR Marketinggemeinschaft der Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken e.V., S&N AG, Siemens AG, Sparkasse Pforzheim Calw, Sparkasse Pfullendorf-Meßkirch, Strähle Raum-Systeme GmbH, Tineon AG, Vitra GmbH, Volkswagen Bank GmbH, Vereinigte Volksbank AG Böblingen/ Sindelfingen – Schönbuch – Calw/Weil der Stadt, VR-Bank Rhön-Grabfeld, VR Bauregie GmbH, and Wincor Nixdorf International GmbH.

Trend Survey “Banks & Future”

Since 2004, Fraunhofer IAO has established a yearly trend survey of the German banking market called “Banks & Future”. The survey addresses bank managers of different banking sectors and of different bank sizes. Since 2007, the trend survey has been extended to the European level and will be continued in 2008. In 2007, about 460 bank managers in Germany and about 80 bank managers from other European countries participated in this survey. Survey design is based on research results of the Innovation Forum “Banks & Future”. In turn, the empirical results provide the basis for further research by the Forum. Figure 2 gives an overview on the main aspects.

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Major Challenges in the Banking Markets

In the financial service sector, and especially in the area of retail banks, there is an intense competition between banks and a high pressure to improve customer orientation (see Figure 3). This pertains to increasing price competition in the field of standardised products as well as increasing demands from “better” informed customers for high quality consultancy. Even the German banking market is affected by a heightened price competition (90 per cent in Germany, 71 per cent in other European countries). Banks also have to cope with more European regulations to prepare for harmonised European financial markets.

131_bild3

Strategic Projects

Looking at actual strategic projects, the intensification of sales activities has highest priority for increasing cross- and up-selling rates (see Figure 4). Another point is to improve organ-isational effectiveness and efficiency by establishing end-to-end IT support of business processes. Finally, bank managers have ranked the modernisation of sales channels among the top three strategic projects for innovation.

131_bild4

In summary, the bank managers plan to renew the business models by innovation in sales and by optimising value chain processes.

Innovation in Sales –  Branches & More

Innovation in sales involves a new design for the interaction of bank and customers. Despite the trend toward face-to-face contact, the virtual branch has also gained relevance for customer interaction; while it has further development potential also a variety of requirements need to be met for tapping its full potential.

Innovation in sales demands a well-integrated comprehensive approach, which considers all sales channels and their interrelations. At the Innovation Forum “Banks & Future”, four scenarios for future banking were developed, which characterize future-oriented concepts of interaction and focus on the communication between customer and consultant.

1.         “Life-assistance-banking”

In this scenario, customer interaction is based on individual con-sulting. At the show case, a biometric and a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) based customer recognition supports the new role of a “navigator”, who addresses incoming customers based on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) informa-tion. The branch design and integrated technologies encourage a consultancy approach that reflects a long-term customer relation-ship providing support over a lifetime, even beyond banking.

131_bild5

2.         “Community-banking”

The branch is a communication and experience space that provides customers with additional occasions for interaction  (e.g. “after-work-banking” at a bank café and supplementary services by partners). Self-service areas are connected to the workplace of a “service assistant”. Areas of “communication” and areas of “privacy” are combined in an open space concept. Customers and non-customers are invited to visit the branch.

131_bild6

3.          “Convenience-banking”

The idea of “financial shopping” requires easy access to standardized financial services. The informed customer can do business at self-service terminals or by approaching a “service assistant”.

4.          “High-tech-banking”

The branch is part of a multimedia-based communication and interaction concept. New media and enhanced information services support personal communication in and outside the branch.

131_bild7

The scenarios “Life-assistance-banking” and “Communitybanking” have been presented at a show case at Fraunhofer IAO since May 2007 to demonstrate innovative sales processes supported by innovative IT solutions.

Scenario Future Sales

Additional scenarios reflecting new opportunities of direct sales channels by using new technologies like Web 2.0 or virtual sales rooms are part of the ongoing and future research work.

Industrialisation – the Process View

The term “bank industrialisation” describes the transfer of technological concepts and management processes from the industrial to the financial service sector. Industrialisation focuses on the capability of a bank to optimise the complete value chain by managing the vertical and horizontal integration of business partners as well as implementing a mature business process management within the organisation.

Status of “Bank Industrialisation”

In the trend survey “European Retail Banking Survey 2007” by Fraunhofer IAO, about 46 per cent of the banks achieved significant success as a result of implementing industrial methods, 49 percent achieved minor success and only 5 per cent of the participants stated that they had no success with industrialisation. With regard to the expected industrialisation potential, 13 per cent of the participants estimated a very high potential and 57 per cent estimated a high industrialisation potential in their banks. To achieve the potential of industrialisation, the implementation of a professional business process management is a key success factor.

Quick-check Tools for “Bank Industrialisation”

At the Innovation Forum “Banks & Future” an industrialisation assessment tool was developed, which enables bank managers to analyse the actual situation of banks with respect to industrialisation. The tool integrates the structured analysis of the bank’s strategies, its process alignment and its process management maturity (see Figure 8).

131_bild8

The industrialisation assessment tool provides information at the strategy and operational level of bank management. The industrialisation assessment must be extended to other organisational issues. In a next step, a structural model of an industrialised bank will be developed that reflects increasing requirements in flexibility and agility. On this basis, the tool set will be expanded to include additional aspects of industrialisation.

Outlook to 2015

The trend survey “Banks & Future” provides an outlook on the future banking markets as perceived by the bank managers:

1. Changing Banking Markets

Establishment of a European financial market, growth of niche players and cooperation across borders (agile and flexible).

2. Competition by Service Quality and Speed

Besides price competition, other critical success factors such as service quality, added value and speed will gain increasing significance.

3. Industrialised Processes and Structures

Redefinition of value chains in extended models of co-operation, assessment of structural changes in banks including new roles.

4.New Services within Industrialised Value Chains

An industrialised value chain enables agile and flexible service composition to address changing and new markets.

5. Customer Management 2.0

Banks invest in customer contact and emotional selling, without losing the benefits of bank automation and of new communication technologies like Web 2.0 and virtual sales.

6. Security and Service Quality

Biometric solutions are a standard part of security concepts and are used to support customer convenience.

7. Management Skills and Personnel Development

New bank profiles require different management skills. Better informed customers ask for well educated banking people.

Authors: Martin Engstler   martin.engstler@iao.fraunhofer.de Rainer Welsch   rainer.welsch@de.ibm.com
                Sponsors: IBM Deutschland GmbH and more than 25 other partners, including banks, technology suppliers and service providers from the financial services sector
Type: National (Germany) and European foresight exercise for the banking markets
Organizer: Martin Engstler, Fraunhofer IAO, martin.engstler@iao.fraunhofer.de
Duration: 2004-2008
Budget: n.a.
Time Horizon: 2015
Date of Brief: Februray 2008

Download: EFMN Brief No. 131_Bank_Future

Sources and References

  • Spath, D. (Ed..); Engstler, M.; Praeg, C.-P.; Vocke, C.: Trendstudie »Bank & Zukunft 2007«, Stuttgart: Fraunhofer IRB, 2007
  • Spath, D. (Ed..); Engstler, M.; Praeg, C.-P.; Vocke, C., Welsch, R.: European Retail Banking Survey 2007, Frankfurt am Main und Stuttgart, 2007, http://www.bankundzukunft.de, http://www.iao.fraunhofer.de