Risky with quick decisions about surveillance

Extensive benefit fraud funds the activities of criminal networks, causing the welfare system to bleed money. To combat fraud, there is a push to increase surveillance in society, but what risks does this pose to democracy and our personal integrity?

Marie Eneman, associate professor of informatics
Marie Eneman, associate professor of informatics
Photo: Pressbild

In the newspaper Akademikern, experts are interviewed about increased surveillance as a means to tackle welfare fraud and about the risks such methods may entail. Proposals such as greater police authority to combine camera surveillance with facial recognition and the law on secret data reading, which is now proposed to become permanent, are a couple of examples of how surveillance could be expanded.

Marie Eneman, associate professor of informatics at the University of Gothenburg, focused on issues of surveillance and privacy, argues that there are significant risks with making quick decisions on these issues and implementing methods that are not preceded by a discussion on how they should be used in a legally secure manner. As technology develops at a rapid pace, legislation does not keep up. This raises the question of how government surveillance should, in turn, be monitored and regulated.

– We see that the development poses risks to our democracy. It is time to hit the brakes and start considering what effects this will actually have in the long term for democratic values and rights such as privacy and freedom of expression, she says in Akademikern's interview.


Read the interview (only in Swedish).