quick scan
WI-WE Progress
Progress: 90.00%   WWI-WE Version: 3
0 mandatory questions pending
26 questions total
24 questions answered
24 questions completed
2 questions pending
Popular WI-WE Tags

Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: FP7 » Invasion of privacy...you nano believe it!

version: 3 / updated: 2011-02-04
id: #1580 / version id: #982
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Anthony Walker
List of all contributors by versions (mouse over)
Last changed by: Anthony Walker
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

European Commission Framework Programme for RTD (FP7)

Theme/activity of inspiration

Theme 4 - Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials & new production technologies

Sub-theme/area of inspiration

Exploitation of the convergence of technologies

Optional reference/s to FP7 project/s

Use the following format: Project Acronym (Project Reference No.). Use commas if more than one project is associated to this Wild Card, for example: ALFA-BIRD (213266), SAFAR (213374), LAPCAT-II (211485)


(max. 9 words)

Invasion of privacy...you nano believe it!


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
Nanonsensors are able to track what people do and say and the media and civil rights groups brand this an infringement on civil liberty. The public take notice and stakeholders decide that nano-surveillance is a gross invasion of privacy leading to uprising against the acceptance of a nano future


nanosensors, surveilance, cvil liberty, nano-surveilance, public outcry


(max. 250 characters)

Nanonsensors are able to track what people do and say and the media and civil rights groups brand this an infringement on civil liberty. Public outcry over nano-surveilance invasion of privacy, leading to an uprising against acceptance of nano future


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Features of life if the wild card manifests

Feature 4: technology and infrastructure
There would be less research / development of new nano technology as the public see this an a dangerous technology
Feature 7: security and defence
This action results in a backlash against all of governments attempts to monitor the public. This results in reduced levels of surveilance and less security against terrorism / crime.

Type of event

Unplanned consequence of events/trends/situations (e.g. financial crisis, accidental breakthrough)

Type of emergence

please select (if any) describe related trend or situation
A counter trend/development/situation
(e.g. There is a massive decline in mobile phone usage due to fears of health hazards; Considerations of privacy lead to the banning of video surveillance in public spaces
Nanotechnology reseach is halted due to negative public opinion

Historical parallels

In 2010 the UK police having to apologise for installing surveilance cameras in a predominantly muslim neighbourhood in Birmingham

Type of systems affected

Human-built Systems - E.g. organisations, processes, technologies, etc.




please specify:
please select
Level 4: important for the whole world If security activities across the world are scaled back this will make the whole world more susceptible to terrorism / crime

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

institutional filters (rules, laws, regulations)
political filters (party or ideological interests)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

In a probably enclosed way (e.g. geographically, sectorally)

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Transformation of a system (e.g. new applications, change in stakeholders relations/influence)


Research into this technology would likeely be kept confidential by governments/security services and therefore the general public would not be aware of this research. If the wild card were to occur the public outcry would change the way security service operate and the surveilance methods they employ

Key drivers or triggers

Provide up to 2 possible drivers or triggers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
please describe
Driver / Trigger 1
please describe
Driver / Trigger 2
Social General public objecting to the increasing levels of surveilance in every day life
Political Security services wanting more sophisticated and effective methods for surveilance

Potential impacts (risks & opportunities)

Timeframe options
Risks Opportunities
short term
(1 to 5 years after the Wild Card manifests)
Could result in the reduction of surveilance activities undertaked by security services - leading to increased terrorism and crime

Potential stakeholders' actions

it occurs
it occurs
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) making public aware of the type of activities which are undertaken and the need for these activities Working to reassure the public and regain their trust
Media Working with the government to help reassure the public

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Governance and trust in democracy Would result in public mistrust of government

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Nanosciences, nanotech, materials & new prod. tech. Lead to a reduction in the level of nanotechnology research
Security Lead to the reduction of security service surveilance activities

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.
Governments working to maintain the public's trust

Relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
Could have devastating effect on the future of nanotechnology research as a whole if the public come to see this technology as dangerous / evil.