for the ethical use of security technologies

Every day, law enforcement officers arrest more or less recalcitrant people, investigate crimes and misdemeanors, or come to the aid of people who are in danger. They do so under proven methodologies and in accordance with rigorously codified methods. What role do law enforcement technology vendors play in this equation?

Technology providers serving law enforcement always abide by these rules when they offer their equipment in support of their actions. Protecting the population requires careful preparation, as well as the use of all available technologies, which are likely to allow you to act calmly to reduce tensions. However, we must avoid the dehumanization often feared by both professionals and our fellow citizens. when we talk about innovative devices using the most advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

Deconstructing Fantasy AI Disaster Stories

Our fellow citizens are actually immersed in an environment fueled by the imagination of writers, filmmakers prolific in terms of stories or disaster scenarios associated with the development of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. They were able to fuel the imagination of children who dreamed of being modern avengers, or older readers of Brave New World or 1984. At the same time, in the real world, Barack Obama, former US President and 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner, argued that “the instruments of war play a role in keeping the peace”. This is a reality that we cannot ignore, even if the choice of war is always final.

Keeping the peace, like protecting privacy, is a concept that continues to occupy the minds of people in an increasingly technological world, where every person is now equipped with a smartphone that monitors their behavior all day long. People are not separated from the contradiction!

Artificial intelligence plays an important role in ensuring the safety and protection of the population. This allows you to analyze behavior, facilitates the identification of objects, people or situations. His help is invaluable in finding clues. Surveillance cameras and pedestrian cameras are more and more present in urban areas, data management is becoming more and more accurate. These technologies are democratically developed to preserve the privacy of citizens. Therefore, the scope of video usage and data processing must be carefully defined, and indeed it is.

Law Enforcement: Between Ethics and Protection

The training of law enforcement officers is carried out with constant concern for compliance with strict rules in terms of ethics and professional conduct. Those few police officers who are unaware of this are punished very severely in case of violation.

The technology that this profession will use must serve its primary purpose of law enforcement, security, and public order*. The preservation of human life is central to ethical rules, and this can only be done with tools that guarantee the neutral execution of procedures. These same videos are evidence in the eyes of justice, hence the importance of transparency in their use. Therefore, it is necessary that they be protected, traceable and cannot be changed or destroyed. Therefore, suppliers usually guarantee that this requirement is met.

Requires ongoing training

It is necessary to regularly train agents in new technologies. He is involved in keeping them safe while carrying out their missions and taking appropriate interventions when they encounter troublemakers. Remember that police training lasts 2 years (from 2022 divided into 12 months at school and 12 months at the office) and for gendarmes, 12 months, to which is added continuous training throughout their career. At the post office, these professionals are faced with situations that develop over the course of their careers. For example, 10 years ago, biometric technologies practically did not exist.

The behavior of citizens is also changing, and therefore the police must be able to design their interventions not only in relation to the technologies available to them, but also in accordance with these social changes. This is how research tells us that each agent encounters an average of 6 psychologically unstable people**. This type of situation indicates the need to receive training and thus be able to act appropriately and without error in the actions of the person to be arrested or taken into custody.

Legal framework to help support the application of the code of ethics

Thanks to the global security law, the framework for the use of mobile video surveillance technologies – body cameras, on-board cameras, drones – has changed. The CNIL enforces this legal framework and the Ministry of the Interior, as it processes and uses data relating to privacy, naturally in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

As you can see, new technologies in the service of law enforcement, when used within clearly and legally defined limits, are a valuable tool for maintaining order. They provide better protection to agents and facilitate interventions tailored to the variety of situations they face, while respecting individual freedoms.


**Cordner, 2006