Project: VIRT-EU: Values and Ethics in Innovation for Responsible Technology in Europe

Principal Investigator’s names:

  1. Irina Shklovski – ITU Copenhagen
  2. Rachel Douglas-Jones – ITU Copenhagen
  3. Luca Rossi – ITU Copenhagen
  4. Javier Ruiz – Open Rights Group
  5. Matteo Magnani – Uppsala University
  6. Alison Powell – London School of Economics
  7. Alessandro Mantelero – Politechnico Di Torino
  8. Annelie Berner – Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design

You are invited to take part in a research study about values and ethics in innovation practices. If you would like more information about the project please see

What does the research involve?

The aim of this research is to empirically identify how local culture and network society influence the understanding and movement of particular social values among technology developers, and how local difference and networked commonalities can influence the development of ethical subjects from a virtue ethics perspective. Empirical data collection and analysis are intended to lay the groundwork for accomplishing the following objectives:

Develop a Privacy, Ethical and Social Impact Assessment (PESIA) framework shaped by state of the art legal research and empirical data, to enable developers and other societal stakeholders to reflect upon, evaluate, and take into account not only the data protection, security and privacy aspects of new technologies but also the ethical and social concerns embedded within that challenge autonomy and freedom. 

Systematically consider and implement the PESIA framework by co-designing self-assessment tools with technology developers who may not be able to anticipate the future use of their projects and their clients and partners, grounded in existing developer practices and based on quantitative, case study and design research that identifies how ethics operate as process.

What does participation entail?

The researcher/s will conduct formal and informal interviews with participants who agree to be interviewed. These formal interviews will be audio taped and transcribed. If at any point you are uncomfortable with the audiotaping, please let us know and we will turn off all recording devices.

You may also be invited to participate in any of the following: a short online survey, a series of co-design workshops, and/or a Design Challenge focused on developing new approaches to ethical innovation practices. The workshops will be conducted at a time convenient for those involved. Participation in the project and in any of these research activities is optional.

Participation in this research is voluntary. There is no cost to you for participating. You may refuse to participate or discontinue your involvement at any time without penalty. You can choose to skip a question at any time.

Source of funding

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727040.

Consenting to participate in the project and withdrawing from the research

You can consent to participating in the project and in any of the activities outlined above by completing the consent form attached to this Explanatory Statement and returning it to the researcher. You can also withdraw from the research at anytime. Up until the project is reported in publications you can request that any data relating to your participation be destroyed.
(a) Your consent is implied if you participate in the observational and informal interview activities. This means that you are consenting to the collection of anonymized data about your experiences. For instance, we will collect data about your opinions on responsible innovation, data protection, issues of privacy, and security.
(b) Survey, workshops, Design Challenge, structured and semi-structured interviews: if you wish to participate in the survey, workshops, Design Challenge, and/or structured and semi-structured interview please sign and return the consent form to the researchers.

Possible benefits and risks to participants

By participating in this study you will be contributing to research related to understanding how European IoT innovators and developers make ethically consequential decisions – about code, hardware and data – for new connective devices, and the assumptions about human behavior, privacy and freedom that underpin European cultures of IoT innovation. There is little or no risk, inconvenience or discomfort to you in participating in the study.


There is no payment or reward offered for those participating in this research.

Confidentiality and storage of data

All research data will be de-identified and stored securely and confidentially. This means that your name and identifying details will be removed prior to reporting and publication and will not be shared with others. However, we cannot guarantee complete anonymity since the content of what you say, despite our best intentions, may be identifiable to people who work/communicate closely with you.

Pseudonyms will be used for all names in any reports and research publications. Data collected will be stored in accordance with the Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. Only the researchers will have access to the data. The data will not be used for purposes other than the purposes of this research project.


Results and project outputs will be published on the project website, reports, conference proceedings, and in journal articles. You are welcome to email the researchers to request findings, which will be emailed to you in summary form.

Additional information

If you have any comments, concerns, or questions regarding the conduct of this research please contact the project administrator - Jonas Langeland Pedersen by phone +45 7218 5227; by email; or by mail: IT University of Copenhagen, Rued Langgaards Vej 7, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark.