Friday, July 02, 2010

Making the citizen heard in security research

During the 7th Framework Programme, the EU is spending €1.4bn on security research. Since the coming into effect of the Lisbon Treaty, the European institutions have a duty to ensure this research supports fundamental rights. The Commission is also keen to avoid the negative media coverage that has resulted from previous research that was less careful of citizens' privacy.

Yesterday I spoke and chaired a panel at a Commission conference on these societal security issues. I was interested to hear from one of the assistant chief police officers present that the Commission is still funding research that does not provide meaningful security tools to end-users, but has the potential to be extremely invasive.

One of my own suggestions was that in future the annual work programme be subject to ethical review before a call goes out for such proposals. I also suggested mechanisms for better institutional oversight of the security programme:

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