Important legal notice
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Information society
Information society - Promoting a secure digital society for all
“Tackling the issues that could stop people from embracing the benefits of ambient intelligence.”

The problem

Ambient intelligence (AmI) brings together many disciplines, such as computer science, electronics, mechanical engineering, design, architecture and social sciences to produce ‘intelligent’ systems which can benefit people in a variety of situations. These systems should make life easier by ensuring that electronic environments are sensitive and responsive to a user’s needs and instructions. However, as is the case with other technologies, people worry about such issues as trust, security, privacy and identity. These negative aspects must be tackled if society is to make best use of AmI’s potential.

SWAMI  Building confidence in ambient intelligence


The project aims to:

  • Identify and analyse the social, economic, legal, technological and ethical implications of AmI-related issues, such as privacy, control and identity
  • Review existing AmI projects and studies as a way of understanding current trends and issues
  • Formulate adverse or ‘dark’ scenarios to reveal key socio-economic, legal, technical and ethical risks and vulnerabilities related to the use of AmI technologies
    and services
  • Identify research and policy options which could build safeguards and privacy-enhancing mechanisms into information society services and systems, thereby encouraging people to accept and trust AmI technology

Contribution to policy development:

  • SWAMI’s results and recommendations will complement and support the European Union’s eEurope action plan.
  • The project’s work will be of interest to the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA).
  • Results could feed into work undertaken by the EU’s Information Society Directorate-General.
  • SWAMI’s ‘dark’ scenarios could prove useful to the EU’s Data Protection Working Party.

Project deliverables

  • Provide a state-of-the-art overview of key social, legal, economic, technological and ethical implications of AmI-related issues – July 2005
  • Produce four ‘dark’ scenarios that highlight risks and vulnerabilities relating to identity, privacy, security etc – October 2005
  • Formulate policy options on how to overcome problems relating to the issues studied by SWAMI – February 2006
  • Final project report – August 2006


  • Workshops and a final project conference, as well a presenting findings at other conferences that deal with AmI issues – towards end of project
  • Creation of website to post progress and results – as required
  • Copies of executive summary/final report will be made available to interested parties, for example the eEurope steering group, ENISA etc. – August 2006

Technical information

Project acronym: SWAMI
Project’s official full title: Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence
Research priority: 3.5. Information Society issues (such as management and protection of digital assets, and inclusive access to the information society)
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 6507
Start date: 1 February 2005
Kick off meeting: Not available
Completion date: 1 August 2006
European Commission scientific officer: Not available

Name: Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research
Abbreviated name: ISI
Address: Breslauer Strasse 48
76139 Karlsruhe
Country: Germany
Tel: +49(0)721-6809-0
Fax: +49(0)721-689152


Name: Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
Abbreviated name: IPTS
Country: Spain

Name: Vrije University Brussels
Abbreviated name: VUB
Country: Belgium

Name: Technical Research Centre of Finland
Abbreviated name: VTT
Country: Finland

Name: Trilateral Research and Consulting
Abbreviated name: Trilateral
Country: United Kingdom