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Gardenier, A.M. (Anne Marte)

Eindhoven University of Technology

I am a PhD candidate in the Philosophy and Ethics research group at Technical University Eindhoven, where I focus on how to strengthen citizens’ cyber resilience against digital threats such as cybercrime and disinformation.

Society is digitalising rapidly. This digitalization comes with vulnerabilities in digital technologies that can be exploited and abused and render citizens threatened by cybercrime, cyber espionage and disinformation campaigns. Citizens do too little to ward off cyber threats, and are insufficiently resilient against these threats. It is necessary that citizen will be informed, that citizens can recognize cyber threats, and take essential cybersecurity measures. Therefore, the research question addressed in my PhD-project is: How can cyber resilience of citizens be strengthened? I will answer this question on the basis of the concept of “technological citizenship”. Technological citizenship can be defined as the collection of duties and rights that enables citizens to benefit from the blessings of technology and protect them from the risks associated with it. Citizens who understand how digitalisation affects their lives, and who have a meaningful say in the political choices related to digitalisation, are more resilient to undermining cyber threats than citizens who are unable to do so.

In my research I will use scenario-analysis methodology. I will develop with experts (by conducting a Group Decision Room session) three scenarios of cyber threats: cyber espionage, cyber sabotage, and disinformation. I will discuss with citizens (by conducting focus groups) the three aspects of technological citizenship: empowerment; protection, and engagement for each scenario. On the basis of these results I will discuss which concrete measures government and cybersecurity companies could (or should) take to enhance cyber resilience of citizens.

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