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Mitigating new threats and adapting investigation strategies in the era of Internet of Things

Expected Outcome:

Projects’ results are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:

  • Increased understanding of Police Authorities regarding the emerging (digital and especially physical) threats of the fast-developing environment of Internet of Things;
  • Modern tools to tackle new and emerging forms of crime pertaining to the development of Internet of Things are provided to European Police Authorities and other relevant security practitioners, which take into account legal and ethical rules of operation, EU fundamental rights such as privacy and protection of personal data as well as cost-benefit considerations;
  • Lawful access and exploitation of evidence in the environment of the Internet of Things are fortified;
  • Best practices (legal, organisational, technical) to access and exploit Internet of Things in the course of investigation are strengthened, including by developing relevant tools and training materials.

Scope:

Internet of Things (IoT) connects practically everything and makes everything more vulnerable as well. IoT devices increasingly benefit from the convergence and integration of technologies, such as machine learning, real-time analytics as well as 5G that will provide faster and more reliable connections for all devices.

There are a number of implications particular to IoT devices, which have been consistently highlighted by researchers and Police Authorities. For example, the vulnerability of IoT devices may be exploited by criminals who seek to collect personal data, compromise user credentials or spy on organisations or people. Furthermore, IoT devices may represent a threat that goes beyond the digital world, i.e. they may become an increasingly physical threat, since they find applications in, e.g., industry and infrastructure, as well as in building smart cities. Malevolent actions against connected devices with direct physical impact (e.g. car-to-car communication, hacking of vehicles, hospitals, nuclear plants) are also a growing concern.

Therefore, the successful proposal should help Police Authorities understand the implications of the fast-developing IoT environment in order to keep pace with the evolution of its applications, recognise and tackle the emerging (digital and especially physical) threats that this may pose.

At the same time, IoT proliferation will provide opportunities for the Police Authorities and other relevant security practitioners to collect a new range of data in relation with criminal activities. New investigating schemes are needed for Police Authorities to access and exploit IoTs evidence, in compliance with EU values. To this end, the proposal should examine the extent to which, e.g., modern European vehicle models, smart TVs, private surveillance systems, virtual assistants or voice control systems can be considered as sources of evidence for the collection and analysis of data, as well as how such data can be used for deriving indicators of an imminent threat.

The research should assess legal, organisational and technical implications of IoT development in the context of investigations, including e.g. privacy issues, and propose strategies, including training materials, tools and path to standards that would foster “by design” a lawful access to relevant evidence.

In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content should be addressed only if relevant in relation to the objectives of the research effort.

The successful proposal should build on the publicly available achievements and findings of related previous national or EU-funded projects as well as create synergies with similar on-going security research projects from the Calls 2021-2022 on Fighting Crime and Terrorism and on Increased Cybersecurity, in order to avoid duplication and to exploit complementarities as well as opportunities for increased impact. Possibilities of coordination with related activities in the Digital Europe Programme[1] should be analysed too.

Proposals funded under this topic are expected to engage with the Europol Innovation Lab during the lifetime of the project, including validating the outcomes, with the aim of facilitating future uptake of innovations for the law enforcement community.

Specific Topic Conditions:

Activities are expected to achieve TRL 5-6 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.

[1]REGULATION (EU) 2021/694 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 29 April 2021 establishing the Digital Europe Programme and repealing Decision (EU) 2015/2240.

General Information

Call Type
EU Horizon Europe
Eligible Country/ies
EU + Horizon Europe associated countries
Call Identifier (if any)
HORIZON-CL3-2024-FCT-01-01
Expected Outcome or Impact
ExpectedOutcome:
Projects’ results are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:

- Increased understanding of Police Authorities regarding the emerging (digital and especially physical) threats of the fast-developing environment of Internet of Things;
- Modern tools to tackle new and emerging forms of crime pertaining to the development of Internet of Things are provided to European Police Authorities and other relevant security practitioners, which take into account legal and ethical rules of operation, EU fundamental rights such as privacy and protection of personal data as well as cost-benefit considerations;
- Lawful access and exploitation of evidence in the environment of the Internet of Things are fortified;
- Best practices (legal, organisational, technical) to access and exploit Internet of Things in the course of investigation are strengthened, including by developing relevant tools and training materials.
Target Groups
Research Institutes, Academia, Small- and Medium Enterprises, Industry, Non-government organisations, Start-Ups
Submission Deadlines
Single fixed deadline
(Next) Submission Deadline
20 November 2024
Type of Funding Instrument
Collaborative Projects / Consortia
Max. funding amount per project [EURO]
5.000.000 €
Overall budget for all projects [EURO]
5.000.000 €
Horizon Europe project type
Research and Innovation Action (100% funding)

Author Info

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Patric Gerö

Member since 2 years ago
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