This paper explores issues of privacy, security and liberty arising in relation to information and communication technologies (ICT) for crisis response and management. Privacy, security and liberty are concepts that have undergone significant changes over time. The authors show how ICT related transformations of socio-technical practices involved in their enactment create challenges, opportunities and dangers in the context of crisis response. While opportunities include development of more informed, efficient and agile emergency management, dangers include increased surveillance, social sorting, and an erosion of privacy, civil liberties and virtues of humanity. The authors explore causes and mechanisms that underpin these dynamics and measures developed to address them. Against this backdrop, they discuss ‘design for privacy' as a socio-technical design approach that empowers people. The aim is to motivate, and explore avenues for, socio-technical innovation that supports information processing and respect for privacy in crisis response and management.