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How to implement ethical values and practices in urban security contexts


How to implement ethical values and practices in urban security contexts that can underpin the most innovative ethical perspectives committed to the well-being of European citizens, research groups and law enforcement?

This is a question that Plus Ethics is answering within the framework of the European project IcARUS (Innovative AppRoach to Urban Security) and which finds its ultimate expression in the elaboration of the project’s code of ethics. All of this, as is already a trademark of the company, always in line with the latest updates from the European Commission regulations and the most recent literature.

In drawing up the code, Plus Ethics has taken into account the different actors involved in all phases of the project and their specific needs. Thus, it has taken into account the researchers, the actors at local level who will apply what has been developed in the context of the project and, last but not least, the citizens. All of this, as mentioned above, seeks, on the one hand, to generate an ethical framework as adapted as possible to the specific reality of each of the actors involved and, on the other, to establish an ethical ecosystem that is sufficiently powerful and in line with European standards. Thus, both researchers and local actors are given specific and common ethical recommendations to satisfy in their particular contexts as well as in the relations they may establish with other members of the project and with the public. It should be noted that the latter, despite not being part of the IcARUS project consortium, has a specific weight of vital relevance, since the different developments carried out within the project seek to improve the lives of citizens in a significant way.

In order to respond to these needs, two clear levels of ethical response have been established throughout the code of ethics. On the one hand, five common ethical principles have been established and are present in all phases of the project – empathising and defining, ideation, prototyping and testing. Thus, we have defined these principles as general ethical requirements, these being: Non-discrimination, respect for privacy, security, transparency and accountability. At the same time, each general ethical principle has its own particularities and contents that allow a better identification of possible ethical failures and a better ethical response to them.

Secondly, another series of ethical requirements that are relevant in the context of the IcARUS project have been presented. These ethical requirements are: legitimacy, respect for the law, justice, human agency, non-harmfulness, empirical support and ethical assessment.

Finally, having established the ethical-theoretical framework within which the IcARUS project operates, Plus Ethics has drawn up a practical guide for the ethical assesment of the partners themselves. The aim of this tool is that the members of the project, in their day-to-day work, are able to monitor and keep track of compliance with the ethical standards set out in the code of ethics. To meet this objective, on the one hand, each partner must fill in a form in which they are asked questions related to the objectives or methodology of the tasks they are going to carry out and, in addition, respond to each of the ethical items that have been proposed throughout the code. All of this, as mentioned above, in order to provide a clear and concise tool that allows the project partners to monitor as closely as possible the ethical level of the activities they plan to carry out.


For more information, you can visit the project website here: https://www.icarus-innovation.eu/