Interdisciplinary observatory on digital technologies for surveillance in democracy


RIE 2023

The Interdisciplinary observatory on digital technologies for surveillance in democracy co coordinated by Gayo Diallo, deputy director of the BPH AHEAD team have been selected by the University of Bordeaux as interdisciplinary and exploratory research projects.

The Observatoire de la surveillance en démocratie aims to monitor and catalogues techniques used by both private and public entities for population surveillance, a practice that has surged due to societal computerization, global security concerns, and the rise of the data economy since the 1960s.
Events like attacks and health crises, including the Paris 2024 Games, have accelerated the adoption of surveillance tools, which, though sometimes necessary, raise questions about their impact on democratic principles, especially concerning privacy and the potential benefits of data processing.
Understanding the economic, social, and political drivers behind these tools, as well as their technical aspects like data processing and artificial intelligence, is crucial to assess their effects on individuals and society.
This requires interdisciplinary collaboration between humanities, social sciences, IT, and public health.
The goal is to establish a framework for the responsible use of surveillance devices to ensure the sustainability of democracy in the 21st century, considering both societal needs and technological capabilities.


Frédéric Alexandre
Inria Research Director – Bordeaux Computer Science Research Laboratory (LABRI – Bordeaux INP, CNRS and University of Bordeaux unit)
Engineering and digital sciences department

Gayo Diallo
University Professor – Bordeaux Population Health Research Centre (BPH – Inserm and University of Bordeaux unit)
Public health department

Pauline Gervier
Associate Professor – Centre d’études et de recherches comparatives sur les constitutions, les libertés et l’État (CERCCLE – University of Bordeaux)
Law and social transformations department