Science, Maths & Technology

Watching the watchmen: CRISP researches the surveillance societies

Updated Thursday 1st November 2012

Introducing CRISP - research into how surveillance and privacy shapes society.

A shadow of a CCTV camera Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Stephen Finn | All over the world, surveillance societies have started to emerge. These are societies which function, in part, because of the extensive collection and analysis of data about individuals, groups and their activities as they go about their lives.

For example, retail loyalty programmes, website cookies and no-fly lists each qualify as surveillance because they gather data about individuals’ activities to influence what happens to them in future. They also raise privacy concerns because of the insight they generate into people’s lives through the processing of information.

The Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy (CRISP), based at the Open, Stirling and Edinburgh Universities, focuses on how these issues shape individuals’ lives, organizations, governments and society as a whole.

On our website you can read about our research projects, events, staff and their publications. You can also follow links to groups who are closely involved with campaigning and regulating the surveillance society.


For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

Network security Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 3 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Network security

Encryption of files and firewalls are just some of the security measures that can be used in security. This free course, Network security, which assumes you have a substantial knowledge of computing, helps to explain the intricacies of the continually changing area of network security by studying the main issues involved in achieving a reasonable degree of resilience against attacks.

Free course
25 hrs
Secret or sharing? Play our Privacy Game Creative commons image Icon The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license activity icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Secret or sharing? Play our Privacy Game

What information are you happy to share - and what will you keep to yourself? Our privacy game gives you the chance to gamble with data - safely...

Animal-Computer Interaction and dogs Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Damedeeso | video icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Animal-Computer Interaction and dogs

Dr Clara Mancini tells us how Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) is expanding the design of interactive systems beyond the human species.

15 mins
Some of all human knowledge: Wikipedia at 15 Creative commons image Icon Lane Hartwell for the Wikimedia Foundation under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license article icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Some of all human knowledge: Wikipedia at 15

Wikipedia has grown into the world's go-to source for information. This raises more problems than just a few missing citations...

How a Geek Changed the World transcript Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team article icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

How a Geek Changed the World transcript

Fiona Bruce met Bill Gates as he stepped down from his role at Microsoft. This is a record of their conversation.

Using a computer for study Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Using a computer for study

The internet is a fantastic source of information for any student, but how do you evaluate the information each site provides? This free course, Using a computer for study, will help you assess the benefits of information technology, providing guidance on the protocols for using email, online conferencing and real time chat as methods of communication.

Free course
6 hrs
Systems thinking and practice Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Systems thinking and practice

What is systems thinking and practice? The essence of systems thinking and practice is in 'seeing' the world in a particular way, because how you 'see' things affects the way you approach situations or undertake specific tasks. This free course will help you to learn about the problems of defining a system and meet some of the key concepts used in systems theory: boundary, environment, positive and negative feedback, etc.

Free course
8 hrs
Tim Berners-Lee on... Wikileaks Creative commons image Icon Cristiano Sant´Anna/ / campuspartybrasil under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license audio icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Tim Berners-Lee on... Wikileaks

The value in Wikileaks, believes Tim Berners-Lee, is in the method of publishing and sharing data.

5 mins
Live outside the UK? Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Atielense | article icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Live outside the UK?

If you live outside of the UK and would like to study with The Open University, we offer a wide range of qualifications in related subjects.