Digitalization and technology are increasingly gaining a more important part in our lives, as well as new technology are being developed more quickly. This entails new risks for digital data security and the physical safety (feeling) of residents. That makes safety and security one of the biggest challenges of our modern society. To work together internationally and to share knowledge is crucial here.
Monitoring public space through cameras and other forms of surveillance entails new challenges in the area of privacy. Control is good if it increases our security but may not limit our freedom and independence. In the field of data, it is the question of who manages the data (government, third parties), how it is being processed as well as exchanged and how to ensure that it is well protected. In terms of (digital) privacy, European legislation and regulations need to be developed. The management and secure processing of personal data and data from authorities through encryption must be regulated through new forms of governance and cooperation. In addition, the changing climate also has an impact on safety. Cities must be prepared for increasing risks of water rises (flood waves, drainage of heavy rainfall), for example, by measuring changes with sensor technology.
All kinds of critical infrastructure (like bridges, roads, railways, but also gas, electricity and water management systems) are being made smart. In addition to the many benefits, it also makes them much more vulnerable to hackers. It is a challenge to safe guard ourselves from a potential cyber-attack, in a smart way. For example, instead of a blackout of a whole city, only a part of the network is affected (security by design). Due to the fact that devices can communicate with each other (Internet-of-Things) and firmware of the high tech equipment themselves are difficult to control, malicious producers have a huge advantage.