Inverting the Panopticon to Safeguard Privacy in Ambient Environments: An Exploratory Study

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12203)


Jeremy Bentham is known for designing an institutional building, a prison named a panopticon and some alternatives to this concept. One of the alternatives are the inverted or constitutional panopticon in which the purpose is to let the governed, the citizens’ see and monitor the governors. Hence, the concept of inverted panopticon can be used to describe an analyze privacy protecting devices. In this paper we report on a national study on citizens’ opinion and attitudes to devices that can protect the user from being seen and listened to, with 1289 participants. At this stage of the work, we have not done statistical analysis of factors that might reveal differences between citizens, but as an exploratory study, we provide an overview of how the two privacy protecting devices were received by Norwegian citizens, based on survey responses. Our aim is to build a foundation for future studies that will investigate the inverted panopticon concept in a society in which personal data has become a currency.


Privacy Personal data Privacy protection Privacy enhancing technologies 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Computing CenterOsloNorway
  2. 2.Umeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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