Rethinking surveillance - Toward an interactive security model

John Schumacher, Sepehr Salehi, Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Nikolaos P Papanikolopoulos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Surveillance has come to be a multi-billion dollar industry designed to protect both persons and belongings, yet very little attention has been given to the improvement of both its public perception and functionality. The anachronous model of 'an observer' watching the observed has been the quintessence of such surveillance systems since their conception. Video Surveillance specifically is currently used primarily to convey live images to a moderator, which has the unintended effect of removing privacy, promoting stereotypes and instilling an element of helplessness in those who are being observed. In addition to the aforementioned concerns, these methods are vastly outdated; the act of looking at a set of spatially connected areas, being the core of surveillance, is centuries old. As the complexities of society and in turn security increase, the question of what else surveillance systems can be attains more significance. Answering this question requires an interdisciplinary approach that faculty at the University of Minnesota undertook in four consecutive semesters through the class "ECE 4951: Senior Design Project". This paper builds on calls to re-think the power dynamics inherent in surveillance systems through a paradigm shift in which surveillance is used to connect people to people and people to the environment. The discussion elaborates on the students' design approaches as well as the challenges that such an interdisciplinary pedagogical undertaking involves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2011 19th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, MED 2011
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2011
Event2011 19th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, MED 2011 - Corfu, Greece
Duration: Jun 20 2011Jun 23 2011

Publication series

Name2011 19th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, MED 2011


Other2011 19th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, MED 2011


  • image processing
  • interdisciplinary perspectives
  • pedagogy
  • surveillance


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