Press Release 7 February 2012

The full version of this press release in a PDF file may be downloaded here.

Malta, 6 February 2012 – SMART project (full title: Scalable Measures for Automated Recognition Technologies) is an EU-funded research project that addresses issues of automated decision making with respect to the “smart surveillance” technologies in the present society where privacy and data protection are fundamental rights.

Smart surveillance, as it is being understood by this project, means using technology to collect raw data via interlinked multisensory receptors (including video, audio, etc.) and their automated processing, assessment, analysis and (semi-) automated decision-taking upon the gathered data.

SMART project identifies and explores the characteristics of laws on surveillance as well as related citizen attitudes. Further, it seeks to identify dependencies and vulnerabilities of smart surveillance on underlying technology infrastructures.

SMART project aims to develop a toolkit for policy-makers, police and security forces to implement and promote the best practice approach. This toolkit will also include a model law that would be capable of pan-European application and a system of design guidelines.

The SMART research is taking place in four generic steps:

  1. Status Quo Analysis (collection of data on existing technological infrastructure as well as mapping out of characteristics of laws on surveillance)
  2. Consumer Attitudes (apart from specialized focus group discussions, SMART project will also benefit from the results of CONSENT project
  3. Criteria for Fairness (development of formal criteria for privacy friendly use of smart surveillance, taking into account technology potential and proportionality issues)
  4. Best Practice (formulation and development of best practice approach based on the fairness criteria)


Research on the SMART project started on 1st June 2011. The SMART Consortium brings together researchers from 15 countries from various fields of expertise, ranging from ICT and consumer protection law to sociology and economics. Of these specialists, nearly 20% are former or serving police or intelligence officers with expertise in applied information and communications technology.