Permissive Environment

Certain types of "permissive'' environments may allow collection of data that are not easily available in more general contexts. Examples of permissive environments include some types of work sites, university campuses, or military bases. They are typically characterized by a geographically constrained location (a "site'') and some centralized control of information technology (IT) and telecommunications infrastructure, as well as a shared sense of community and trust. The centralized control of IT/telecommunications allows electronic tracking of data (e.g., outgoing phone calls, Internet accesses) that are difficult to obtain on, say, a citywide basis. The shared sense of community and trust makes it easier to gather personal information, as there is a belief that these data will not be used to violate privacy rights.

Surveillance in permissive environments can have two purposes. The site itself may be sufficiently large or of sufficiently high value to justify surveillance for its own sake. Alternatively, if the population of a site draws upon the surrounding community for its members (e.g., work site), it may act as a high-sensitivity sentinel for disease outbreak in the surrounding area.

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