This study aims to analyse the impacts of Edward Snowden’s revelations in Spain focusing on issues of privacy and state surveillance. This research takes into consideration the Spanish context from a multidimensional perspective: social, cultural, legal and political.
The paper reviews the Spanish privacy and state surveillance situation. Responses to a questionnaire were collected from 207 university students studying at Universitat Rovira i Virgili or Burgos University. The quantitative responses to the survey were statistically analysed as well as qualitative considerations of free-text answers.
The survey outcomes demonstrate that a majority of respondents are aware of Snowden’s revelations, but only a few have even considered taking serious actions to improve their online privacy. One of the most relevant findings is that Spanish citizens find it acceptable to lose privacy and be subject to state surveillance if that provides a benefit in security.
The research points out the importance of privacy in a multicultural environment. A sensitised society is a keystone for the healthy and balanced development of state surveillance policy and practice.
Training programmes are a critical dimension to ensure awareness across society regarding privacy and digital technologies. Suitable educational policies and curricula at all levels should be fostered.
Privacy and state surveillance based on information and communication technologies is an emerging research topic with important consequences for social values and ethics. This study provides an overview of Spanish higher education students’ attitudes in these areas.
Adams, A., Arias-Oliva, M., Lara Palma, A. and Murata, K. (2017), "Surveillance following Snowden: a major challenge in Spain", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 265-282. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-11-2016-0044Download as .RIS
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