Project overview

Security technology is vital for enhancing public safety. While society is becoming increasingly aware that security technology plays a role in our everyday lives, for example by protecting us from cyberattacks and monitoring our movements in urban environments, how security technology is developed remains opaque to many.

Indeed, the development of security technology often does not involve civil society, meaning that the people that this technology aims to protect do not actually have a seat at the table, and thus cannot have their views and concerns heard. Not only does this decrease societal trust in security technology, but it also means that the technology itself is less likely to be representative and inclusive of diverse perspectives.

The TRANSCEND project aims to enable the development of responsible, ethically acceptable and socially desirable security technology, and to mitigate any socio-negative impacts. TRANSCEND aims to do this by giving a voice to civil society (i.e., individuals and organisations independent of government) before and during the security technology development process.

Expected outcomes

The two primary outcomes of the project are:

• The TRANSCEND Framework

• The TRANSCEND Toolbox of Methods

Applications and benefits

The TRANSCEND Framework will give guidance on how to incorporate perspectives and insights of civil society across a range of domains, such as:

• Legal
• Ethical
• Socio-economic
• Gender
• Cultural
• Vulnerability
• Governance

A key part of the Framework is the creation of the TRANSCEND Toolbox of Methods. This Toolbox will provide policymakers, social scientists, first responders and developers of security technologies with quick access to the tools they need to engage members of civil society in security research.

This means not only that members of civil society will be listened to and have their concerns addressed, but also that civil society will have an active and creative role in the development process. Essentially, the Toolbox will enable security technology developers to give members of civil society ‘a seat at the table’, which is of vital importance when the decisions made at that table often affect civil society the most.

With a fairer and more inclusive development process, the security technology itself should then be fairer, more responsible and more trustworthy for society as a whole.

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