Technological innovation is embraced as an unquestionable component of the EU’s security policies. From the turn of the century, the EU has increasingly promoted the development and employment of “new”, “advanced”, “next generation” or “emerging” technologies for countering its internal and external security threats.
Technological innovation is embraced as an unquestionable component of the EU’s security policies which promote the development and employment of “new”, “advanced”, “next generation” or “emerging” technologies for countering security threats. The same policies call also for the assessment of the impact emerging technological tools may have on individuals’ values, their fundamental rights, and the society as a whole. With regard to technologies that are “emerging”, this assessment should occour at R&D stage, and aim at establishing the likely effects the technologies may have on the above values, rights, and the society. It should estimate to what extent their potential employment comply with the principles of a democratic society and the rule of law. As such, it is a very wide-ranging and complex form of investigation. The proposed paper examines the benefits stemming from an ex-ante impact assessment of emerging technologies for security. It argues that anticipatory thinking on ethical, fundamental rights and societal implications of emerging technologies is paramount to identify and mitigate possible negative effects as well as fully exploit all the benefits the concerned technologies may generate. It then discusses a methodology for investigating the ethical, fundamental rights and societal implications generated by the adoption of emerging technological solutions.