Philosophy & Technology

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 357–379

Balance or Trade-off? Online Security Technologies and Fundamental Rights

Special Issue

DOI: 10.1007/s13347-013-0104-0

Cite this article as:
Hildebrandt, M. Philos. Technol. (2013) 26: 357. doi:10.1007/s13347-013-0104-0


In this contribution, I will argue that the image of a balance is often used to defend the idea of a trade-off. To understand the drawbacks of this line of thought, I will explore the relationship between online security technologies and fundamental rights, notably privacy, nondiscrimination, freedom of speech and due process. After discriminating between three types of online security technologies, I will trace the reconfiguration of the notion of privacy in the era of smart environments. This will lead to an inquiry into the metaphor of the scale, building on the triple test regarding the justification of the limitation of fundamental rights such as privacy. The conclusion will be that in the case of a trade-off, infringing measures will have to be balanced by effective safeguards. No trade-off without balance.


Online security technologiesSecuritySafetyPrivacyMonitoringFilteringConfidentialityIntegrityAvailabilityCybercrimeBalanceTrade-off

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Computing and Information Sciences (iCIS)Radboud University NijmegenNijmegenNetherlands
  2. 2.Erasmus School of Law (ESL)RotterdamNetherlands
  3. 3.Law Science Technology and Society (LSTS)Vrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselBelgium