Eu FLag
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No101022004

Law Enforcement Technology Symposium 2023

At the stunning Louwman Museum in the Hague, the TRACE consortium was proud to welcome eight policing and security-related projects to the Law Enforcement Technology Symposium on 7th and 8th December 2023. Led by Trilateral Research’s Law Enforcement and Community Safeguarding cluster, partners took the opportunity to present the TRACE tool and discuss the ethical, legal and social requirements of responsible technology development in a policing space dominated by concerns about emerging technologies. A sociotech approach is vital, with ethical considerations informing and guiding technology development from the earliest stages. As the event proceeded, colleagues illustrated this philosophy with reference to projects covering firearm and human trafficking, security in public spaces, child safety, as well as the illicit money flows that are being tackled by TRACE. 

Flight disruption meant that some speakers needed to deliver remote presentations, but the diversity of attendees enhanced this TRACE event hugely. Trilateral Research colleagues demonstrated their child safety and human trafficking tools CESIUM and Honeycomb, before research projects including GATHERINGSHEROESALUNADARLENE, and CEASEFIRE took to the stage to showcase their projects’ ambitions and applications. Guests also heard expert keynotes from UNICRIEuropol, and the Gendarmerie Nationale, with the challenges of getting technologies over the line into law enforcement use a recurring topic. Challenges in public and police understandings of new tools, and arduous procurement processes were among the issues cited. Trends in AI regulation will be critical in the next few years, with global divergences likely to mean different operational capacities for law enforcement agencies in different jurisdictions. A discussion of the trends in global AI regulation noted that the ‘Brussels effect’ of the EU AI Act might shape international responses just as GDPR did, by setting a global benchmark as other jurisdictions are still formulating their responses and considering the risks.

A closing roundtable of experts included Professor Umut Turksen and Dr Joshua Hughes from TRACE, along with Ben Waites from Europol and Ines Ferreira from UNICRI. Questions addressed the risks and opportunities of new technologies, with exciting developments in debiasing and new use cases offering an uplifting picture despite the risks. In bringing these voices together, the Law Enforcement Technology Symposium offered a positive direction for the development and rollout of policing technologies that meet the highest ethical and operational standards.