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Home > David Wright

David Wright

Founder & Chief Research Officer

Role at Trilateral

David leads Trilateral’s Innovation & Research service in overseeing the progress and implementation of TRI’s research projects and in developing proposals for new projects in diverse areas of interest to TRI, such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data protection, ethics, the environment, inequalities and democracy, and socio-economic impact assessment.


David founded Trilateral Research in 2004. David wrote and won his first two projects, SWAMI and STARC, on the topics of ambient intelligence and risk communications respectively, topics that have continued to permeate many of TRI’s other EU-funded projects. David is a prolific writer, continually expanding TRI’s areas of research through his work and thought leadership. He has been the principal author for many of TRI’s winning proposals such as PRESCIENT (data protection and foresight), PROTAX (money laundering and financial crime), IRISS (surveillance in Europe), SATORI (ethics in Europe), SIENNA (stakeholder engagement), SHERPA (ethics of smart information systems), PIAF (privacy impact assessment), REAL_DEAL (European Green Deal), COPKIT (fighting crime and terrorism), CYBERSPACE (cybersecurity), PACE (populism in Europe), PHAEDRA (data protection), SAPIENT (fundamental rights). He currently co-ordinates the EU-funded CC-DRIVER project on the human and technical drivers of cybercrime.

He has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Communications of the ACM, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, The Information Society, European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, IEEE Security & Privacy, Computer Law & Security Review, Science and Public Policy, IEEE Technology & Society, Ethics and Information Technology, Futures, Foresight, Telematics and Informatics, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, Journal of Information, Communications and Ethics in Society, The Journal of Contemporary European Research.

He has co-edited and co-authored four books, including Privacy Impact Assessment (Springer, 2012) and Surveillance in Europe (Routledge, 2015). He coined the term and published the first article on ethical impact assessment. The ISO standard on privacy impact assessment (ISO 29134) was based on his PIA methodology. Similarly, the European Standardisation Committee Workshop Agreement (CEN CWA) on ethical impact assessment is based on his EIA methodology. He has participated in several foresight expert groups, including four ENISA expert groups and a DG Research Trust-at-Risk foresight group. He has developed several scenario construction methodologies, including policy scenarios for the EU-funded SHERPA project as well as “dark scenarios”, a term he coined in the SWAMI project. He is a member of the European Foresight Monitoring Network and a freelance member of the faculty of Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS) Studies at the Vrjie Universiteit Brussels.


Favourite technological innovations: Artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

Current favourite non-fiction: The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of AI.

Among favourite novels: IQ84, Shadow of the Wind.

Among favourite bands: Wax & Boogie.

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