Deep AR Law Enforcement Ecosystem

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Co-creation and independent advice for a socially acceptable and ethically compliant DARLENE solution

The DARLENE project investigates the potential of augmented reality (AR) tools to improve situational awareness among law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and first responders during crime-fighting situations and terrorist incidents. Our research explores the use of innovative AR smart glass technology and powerful computer vision algorithms with 5G network architectures to allow agile processing of real-time data when time is of the essence. By overlaying useful information directly on top of the real world through AR glasses, DARLENE aims to enable LEAs and first responders to make more accurate and prompt decisions in high-pressure situations which can significantly increase the safety of European citizens.


The use of augmented reality technology in public safety situations raise new ethical and legal questions that must be addressed in research and innovation projects to facilitate building the confidence of citizens and other stakeholders towards the lawful use of AR tools in crime-fighting efforts. The development of the DARLENE AR law enforcement eco-system follows a co-creation and ethics-by-design approach ensuring meeting end-user needs and compliance with fundamental European legal, ethical and societal values. Co-creation principles and independent advice from the Stakeholder Board and the Ethics Advisory Board fulfils a key role in this approach throughout the project.

Engaging end-users and stakeholders

The project consortium includes a large number of end-user partners, various European law enforcement agencies and a police academy, who actively participate in the co-creation of the DARLENE solution through co-design workshops, use cases and validation of the prototype. Furthermore, the DARLENE Stakeholder Board, managed by Trilateral Research, includes other national law enforcement agencies and international LEA organisations providing independent advice on developing a prototype that is fit-for-purpose and meets end-users’ needs. The Board consists of a diverse group of stakeholders, beyond end-users, we have also invited industry representatives and academics working in the field of AR, computer vision and societal impact of emerging technologies to support the project with their views and expertise. The project held an introductory call with the Stakeholder Board in May where presentations discussed the DARLENE solution, planned trainings for LEAs and the AR smart glass technology. Partners will continue to engage members for independent advice and comments on end-user requirements to maximise impact and uptake of results.

Ethics-by-design guided by independent expert advice

In parallel to the co-creation approach, the project is also committed to ethics-by-design and ensures robust ethical and legal compliance during the creation of the DARLENE AR law enforcement eco-system through a multi-layered ethical and legal oversight framework. Our ethics-by-design approach follows current EU ethics guidelines on trustworthy AI and automated decision-making to provide a solution that has strong potential for societal acceptance.

The project is also monitored by the DARLENE Ethics Advisory Board, an advisory body comprised in its majority of independent professionals with relevant legal, ethical or interdisciplinary expertise in the ethics of emerging technologies. The second meeting of the Board in May focused on the progress of the legal and ethical work in the project and the issue of bias in machine learning solutions. Presentations by project partners and the general discussion focused on anonymisation/pseudonymisation processes, good practices in machine learning datasets and proposed data augmentation methods in DARLENE to mitigate bias in datasets and ensure algorithmic transparency. Comments and questions by the Board guide our ethics-by-design approach investigating how the developed tools might impact key societal values, in particular the impact of machine learning algorithms and smart AR tools on equality, privacy and data protection. The common goal is to ensure that technology development has a beneficial impact on society and that related risks are highlighted and mitigated early within the framework of the DARLENE project.
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Trilateral Research