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Value-sensitive technological innovation in Cybersecurity


Specific challenge:

New digital technologies are all around us but their impact on society is often difficult to assess, let alone predict. The rapid development and expansion of the digital ecosystem confronts society with numerous challenges to ensure trust and confidence of citizens in and the legitimacy of highly complex, dynamic and hyper-connected systems.

As recognized in the EU Cybersecurity Strategy the same norms, principles and values that the EU upholds offline, should also apply online. The challenge is to define what is needed to ensure a flourishing information society which offers safety and security and at the same time respects Europe's fundamental values and rights.

It is therefore essential to ensure that new and innovative cybersecuirty technologies are designed to incorporate European values and fundamental rights, which include autonomy, equality, privacy, combined with fairness and accountability and ensure the 'right' level of control individuals can exercise over their actions and the technology they utilize. Often, these values might be in competition with one another.

In this context, it is also crucial to understand the role of the public and the private sector concerning the acceptance and acceptability of digital technologies in a networked environment in order to allow citizens to make informed and responsible choices regarding innovative products and services leading to a strong European market for innovative and effective cybersecurity technology.

Proposals are encouraged to engage with public security end-users and/or private end users.


The coordination and support activity should facilitate community building and deepen understanding involving relevant stakeholders from civil society, research, industry and public bodies in order to develop a comprehensive knowledge for the EU of the challenges and opportunities for value-sensitive ICT innovation in a trustworthy digital society.

In particular, work in this topic should focus on:

  • Developing ways to determine the relation between the perceived risks and benefits of new technologies in the field of digital security and their associated acceptability and acceptance;
  • Defining mechanisms to determine how our fundamental values and rights can be taken into account in the development process of new technologies to ensure that they are applied when used in innovative services and products;
  • Proposing rules and guidance on how these new technologies will safeguard these values and rights;
  • Identifying existing best practices on cybersecurity norms and rules accommodating European values and rights;
  • Drafting standards and guidelines for industry and the public sector to enable consumers to exert a high level of control over devices and services as well as to ensure accountability with respect to the acceptable usage of new digital technologies; and
  • Identifying the key factors for promoting a secure and innovative ecosystem through fostering the creation of secure technologies in line with European values.
  • Addressing the specific needs of the end-user, private and public security end user alike.

Expected impact:

  • Better understanding of the mechanisms that lead to the acceptance of risks associated with new digital services in a networked environment and of the ways how acceptability of new services can be maintained;
  • Providing better understanding of the links between risk perception of societies and cyber security;
  • Deeper insight into how networked ICT, autonomous system and devices as well as services influence the perception of citizens with respect to security and their values of for instance freedom and autonomy;
  • New approaches for users to exercise control over their data and maintain the desired autonomy of their actions in the digital domain while instigating innovative business models for value-sensitive ICT products and services;
  • Recommendations for regulatory measures necessary for a responsible and sustainable development and use of cyber technology; and
  • Establishment of a broad and durable constituency, which supports the uptake of results and further work beyond the lifetime of the project.

Type of action: One Coordination & Support Action