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Conference on safeguards in a world of ambient intelligence

EuroVillage Hotel, Brussels, 21-22 March 2006


SWAMI (Safeguards in a World of AMbient Intelligence) team is organizing a conference on Safeguards in Ambient Intelligence, to be held in Brussels, 21-22 March 2006. The purpose of this conference is to explore policy options related to safeguards for privacy, security, trust, identity and digital divide.

While AmI enthusiasts foresee a future information society where the emphasis is on greater user-friendliness, more efficient services, user empowerment and support for human interactions, we know well that the adoption rate of ambient intelligence environments will depend on how secure it can be made, how privacy and other rights of individuals can be protected and how individuals can come to trust the intelligent world that surrounds them and through which they move. So policy options need be defined and put in place to facilitate the creation of AmI environments.

The SWAMI project aims to identify and analyse the social, economic, legal, technological and ethical issues related to identity, privacy and security in the forecasted but not yet deployed Ambient Intelligence (AmI) environment. The intention is thus to identify and propose adequate policy measures so as to help enhance the adoption of the technologies by the citizens.

The rate of adoption of AmI by citizens will depend on how secure it can be made, how privacy and other rights of individuals can be protected and how individuals can come to trust the intelligent world that surrounds them and through which they move. That, in a nutshell, is the aim of the conference.

Conference Programme

This programme includes agenda, abstracts of contributions and list of participants

 *** see final version (19/03/2006) ***

SWAMI Work Packages

Work package 1 (WP1) consists of a state of the art review of existing AmI projects, studies, scenarios and roadmaps.


  1. To provide a state-of-the-art overview of the key social, legal, economic, technological and ethical implications with regard to identity, privacy and security of Ambient Intelligence as developed in existing scenario exercises, IST roadmaps and projects.
  2. To convene a workshop with selected AmI experts to validate the review and to identify the main factors for the scenario development.
    SWAMI First Workshop with external exports was held in Brussels, on 1 June 2005:
    See Workshop Background document.
    It is a preliminary analysis of scenarios and visions on AmI and contains also a first analysis of the legal framework related to AmI.
    See Workshop Minutes
    See Workshop Slides:

    1. Introduction to SWAMI and Objectives of Workshop – Michael Friedewald
    2. Review of Scenarios: the Analytical Framework – Elena Vildjiounaite & Petteri Alahuhta
    3. First Analysis of AmI Scenarios – Elena Vildjiounaite & Petteri Alahuhta
    4. Preparing for “dark” scenarios on AmI – Yves Punie & Ioannis Maghiros
    5. First results of the legal analysis – Serge Gutwirth, Wim Schreurs & Michiel Verlinden
    6. Threats in future AmI Applications: First evidence – Michael Friedewald


Work package 2 (WP2) deals with developing “dark” (adverse) scenarios, the aim of which will be to expose key socio-economic, legal, technological and ethical risks and vulnerabilities related to issues such as identity, privacy and security.


  1. To construct four dark AmI scenarios, i.e., which highlight the risks and vulnerabilities with regard to identity, privacy, security etc, together with a first impact assessment on the social, economic, legal, technological and ethical implications.
  2. To convene an internal consortium meeting for in-depth discussion and elaboration of scenarios.

Here is the scenario deliverable:

Dark scenarios in ambient intelligence: Highlighting risks and vulnerabilities. Deliverable D2, Final version, January 2006

The report contains four scenarios:

  • 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 – takes a different stance, involving a data-aggregating company that becomes victim of theft of the personal data which fuel its core business. Given its dominant position in the market, the company wants to cover this up but will face the courtroom two years later.
  • Dark scenario 4: Risk society – suggests AmI as risk society portrayed from the studios of a morning news programme. 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 in an AmI environment.

Equally important as the scenario stories is the scenario analysis. The SWAMI scenario analysis contains:

  • A short summary of the major dark situations mentioned in the scenario story;
  • A list of the most important AmI technologies and/or devices used and/or implied in the scenarios.
  • A list of major AmI applications that emerge in each scenario. Applications allow certain things to be done with the technologies and devices;
  • The drivers that have led to the scenarios and/or their (dark) situations.
  • A discussion of the major issues in terms of privacy, security, identity and vulnerabilities raised by the scenario, which are the core concerns of the SWAMI project;
  • The legal aspects implicit in the scenarios;
  • Preliminary conclusions.

The SWAMI scenarios also consist of a “technology check”, i.e. references to RTD projects and publications and a “reality check”, i.e. references to recent news reports. Although the scenarios are to be regarded as fictional, they need to be credible and realistic as to achieve their aim, i.e. highlighting vulnerabilities and weaknesses in order to develop safeguards.

Work package 3 (WP3) develops legal and policy options which could serve as safeguards and privacy-enhancing mechanisms for Ambient Intelligence.


  1. To formulate and consider how and to what extent it is possible or could be possible in the future to overcome the problematic implications of the dark side of AmI, e.g., through the use of various safeguards and privacy enhancing mechanisms (PEMs), the aim of which is to ensure user control and enforceability of policy in an accessible manner and the protection of rights for all citizens in all their roles (private and professional) in the Information Society.
  2. To convene a second workshop of AmI experts in order to have their comments / validation of a range of safeguards and privacy-enhancing mechanisms.


 Threats, Vulnerabilities and Safeguards in Ambient Intelligence. Deliverable D3. July 2006

After the introduction (chapter 1), the report is structured as follows:

  • Chapter 2 gives an overview of the five key areas that have been addressed in our analysis
    of threats and vulnerabilities in a world of ambient intelligence, namely individual privacy,
    identity, trust, security and the risks of digital divides. These sections discuss the main
    goals that safeguards seek to achieve, the challenges that ambient intelligence bears for
    attaining them and the conflict between some goals.
  • Chapter 3 details the threats and vulnerabilities in each of the areas. Taking into account
    the four dark scenarios developed in the second SWAMI report, a small number of generic
    problems are identified that require the formulation of suitable safeguards.
  • Chapter 4 presents and discusses approaches for technical, socio-economic, legal and
    regulatory, and cultural safeguards that are considered in order to address one or more of
    the problems mentioned before.
  • Chapter 5 concludes the report by presenting recommendations for various groups of
    stakeholders, ranging from the European Commission and industry to civil society
    organisations and the individual citizen.

 Work package 4 (WP4) focusses on dissimination of project results, continuously throughout the project. There are two validation and awareness-raising workshops foreseen. A final conference at the end of the project is also planned.


  1. To prepare the final report of the project.
  2. To convene a Final Conference, at which the final report will be presented.
  3. To carry out dissemination activities.


 Final Report . Deliverable D4. August 2006