As Europe’s digital markets converge towards a single ecosystem, what is the best way for citizens to access public services?

Under the umbrella of the Digital Single Market (DSM), IMPULSE studies the impact on electronic identities (eID) of technologies with disruptive transformational potential. Given their incredible relevance and promise at the current state of our knowledge, the project focuses in particular on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain (BC).

A combination of these two technologies can create a mechanism for secure management of eID, which is an important enabler for trust and confidence in the DSM. Being a distributed ledger of all transactions ever executed in a specific domain, BC is per se an interesting technological solution for ensuring citizens’ control over their own data. When paired with an AI capable of automatically verifying documents and granting users access to their data based on biometrics, then BC becomes a potential game changer for eID, especially in public services.

And that application is precisely what IMPULSE will analyze from a user-centric and multidisciplinary perspective, evaluating its benefits and risks, costs, and inherent limitations. The project will use a demand-driven and co-creative approach in 6 pilots in Denmark, Spain, Bulgaria, Iceland and Italy, all organized thanks to the involvement of Digital Innovation Hubs. The pilots’ diverse settings will provide a variety of socio-economic, cultural, operational, and legal contexts in which to validate the solution.

IMPULSE will also produce actionable roadmaps that detail good practices and pathways for the adoption, scaling-up, and sustainability of such advanced eID technologies for public services within the EU ecosystem.

CyberEthics Lab.’s role in the project consists in providing ethical and legal support to the entire consortium. CyberEthics Lab. will publish of a project-specific ethics protocol, which in essence will contain appropriate guidelines for the research process; a legal framework and dictionary with references to all relevant EU directives and regulations; a method for ethical and legal assessment that will lead to recommendations for decision makers on privacy, ethical, and legal issues in the eID field.

Service involved

Social acceptance of technologies assessment
Connected, disruptive technologies permeate all aspects of our daily lives and pose challenges to the real foundation of human rights, such as the right to privacy or the freedom of speech. One could say that human values such as trust, accountability, and dignity are mutually influenced by the social acceptance of technologies. We support our clients to conceive a novel way of aligning the thus-far divergent concepts of sustainability, ethics impact, and technological innovation. By combining these three concepts, we respond to the need of a socially responsible innovation ecosystem by developing a tailored methodology for assessing users’/citizens’ social acceptance of technologies, a fundamental driver for technology market adoption. Our social acceptance framework includes six fundamental dimensions over which social acceptability (i.e. perception, motivation, trust, awareness, capacity enabling, and accountability) is measured and assessed through a two-step approach based on an online Sentiment Analysis (SA) – to create structured and actionable knowledge from the web – and the engagement of our client’s stakeholders (e.g. relevant target groups, associations of citizens, domain operators, decision makers, etc.) for the technology co-creation and communication regarding its social acceptance.
Responsible Research & Innovation
We love discovering and staying on top of new research to continuously advance our knowledge and to transform it into responsible innovation, taking into account effects and potential impacts on ethics, privacy and data protection. We help national and international partners to handle ethical, legal and cybersecurity concerns on both the research process and the project outcomes, through the legal support for the involvement of human beings in the research activity, the analysis of the national and regional legal framework applicable to the implementing technology and the recommendations for the secure and compliant development of technology. We are a multidisciplinary team that promotes the inclusion of legal and ethical concerns in the design of the technology, researching and producing new knowledge and best practices towards making a conscious and transparent adoption of technology.