Accepted paper:

Opening (and closing) doors for security: negotiations of trust


Abigail Nieves Delgado (Ruhr University Bochum)
Estrid Sørensen (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
Olga Galanova

Paper short abstract:

We present three case studies to analyze the negotiations of trust involved in three security scenarios: political, offline-online, and digital. We show how different actors generate the conditions to open and closing doors and how trust is a rather contextual condition.

Paper long abstract:

Keeping something safe involves actions of separation such as building walls and borders, but also actions of authorization, such as the construction and the opening of doors. Doors are old security solutions that in current times appear in different shapes, such as memberships to groups, visa applications, international borders, and passwords. The materiality of doors is as multiple as the values and goods to be secured. However, despite their diversity, doors share similarities. For instance, they open only under certain conditions, to certain actors, and when fulfilling given requirements. This talk focuses on this set of characteristics that we refer to as "negotiations of trust".

In this talk we look at negotiations of trust in three case studies coming from different political and technological contexts. First, we look at archival material from the German State Security Service (STASI) to analyze how subjects were categorize as trustable or not based on their daily routines, cloths, etc. Second, we look at digital facial recognition technologies and, in particular, how the face as a presumably unique, unmistakable, and trustworthy online password is used to open or close real life and online doors. Finally, we discuss current IT-security solutions that regulate our daily internet use and, especially, how these technologies evaluate and suggest what is trustable online content for the user. Through the analysis of these cases we aim to identify key actors that influence and control security-related negotiations of trust in three security contexts and kinds of doors: political, offline-online, and digital.

panel C24
Caring, negotiating and tinkering for IT in/security