Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

ICTethics. An Interdisciplinary Approach for Addressing Ethical, Social and Legal Aspects of ICT


"There is an urgent need for a systematic analysis of the ESLA aspects of Research in ICT, of the same type as developed by the ESLA (Ethical Social and Legal Aspects) working group on biotechnology, established by the European Commission in the early 1990s. Some ESLA-like reflection on ICT is ongoing, but is fragmented and ad hoc. It risks lagging behind technological developments that are already moving towards a ""post PC era"" and the internet of things. It is necessary to think through the ethical issues before developments proceed rather than afterwards when science and industry may be constrained by regulations that deter innovation and hamper just and balanced deployments. A systematic ESLA reflection will also assist industry in reflecting upon the impacts of new developments in science and technology and what reactions they may engender amongst publics in different cultures and polities.

The project will perform an integrated ESLA of identified strategic ICT developments that have the potential to revolutionize private and social life over the next five years. It will analyse (a) the development of intelligent environments, (b) the convergence of the physical, the mental and the virtual, (c) the internet of things and (d) ICT for security. It will focus on flagship developments like the personal health system, the humanoid robot assistant, RFID and biometrics identification.

The results of the study will be translated into a targeted feedback to all stakeholders involved, to the public at large and to general innovation and e-Inclusion policy. This multi-actor engagement and participation strategy is key to the proposed work of the project in promoting ESLA informed dialogue on the impacts of future ICT innovations.

The work will be carried out by a consortium of 4 experienced teams that have been active as participants in the process of the EC in studies in the ESLA of biomedicine who are now ready to lay the groundwork for a high level ESLA of ICT."

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call



Craenendonck 15
3000 Leuven

See on map

Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Guido Van Steendam (Prof.)
EU contribution
No data

Participants (3)