CRISP is an interdisciplinary networked research centre which brings together expertise from across the social sciences, the arts, humanities, information sciences, computing and other relevant fields.

The core focus of the centre is the responsible use of new digital technologies in society, including in business, organisational and public policy and service

contexts. In particular, there is a strong focus on the societal impacts and consequences of surveillance and its privacy implications. Such concerns have proliferated with the diffusion of new information and communication technologies, resulting in considerable interest amongst funders, policymakers and practitioners, especially in relation to the ethical, social and political consequences of ‘the surveillance society’ and the so-called ‘surveillance capitalism’. This has given rise to a diverse international community of scholars now studying this phenomenon.

CRISP is at the heart of this community, with its members having received funding from Horizon 2020, the COST network, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Leverhulme Trust, among others. They have also advised the UK’s Information Commissioner, the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, the United Nations, the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee and the House of Lords Constitution Committee, the Scottish Government, UK Home Office, as well as a number of local authorities and other public agencies on questions relating to information, surveillance and privacy.

CRISP’s core aim is to generate and disseminate new knowledge about ‘information, surveillance and privacy’. Specifically, we aim to:

  • provide a platform for world class social scientific and legal research and knowledge exchange in CRISP’s subject area;
  • provide an international focal point for existing and future research activities in this area;
  • build on existing synergies that exist, in terms of current research projects and interests, between the partner institutions and researchers, and thereby enhance research capacities;
  • provide a solid foundation for future grant applications and knowledge exchange activities;
  • provide a vibrant environment for doctoral training and supervision in this subject area;
  • provide a platform which will allow engagement with policy-makers and practitioners relevant to this subject area;
  • engage with the public on relevant issues connected with Information processing, surveillance and privacy;
  • enhance public awareness and understanding of the surveillance and privacy implications arising from the development of new ICTs.

CRISP activities

CRISP’s mission is delivered through a range of research, impact and engagement activities, including:

  • an annual public lecture featuring a world leading policy-maker, practitioner, academic, journalist or business leader;
  • a Biennial CRISP Doctoral Training School designed for international early career researchers and delivered over a week of intensive training incorporating expert lectures, skills workshops and surveillance and privacy themed social activities;
  • an Online Seminar Series with expert speakers highlighting contemporary thinking in the area;
  • a dedicated panel session at the annual Computers Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) annual conference attended by data protection experts and professionals;
  • the Routledge Studies in Surveillance Book series showcasing the latest published research in the area;
  • the Scottish Privacy Forum, delivered in conjunction with the Information Commissioners Office, and a mechanism which brings together academics and professionals with an interest in data protection and privacy; and
  • other bespoke workshops and seminars linked to research projects and other research engagement activities.

An up-to-date list of recent CRISP activities and news can be found on the CRISP website.