You are here: Resources > Identity Use Cases & Scenarios > Discussion > 

Closing Discussion

While the work of the FIDIS network has been broad, it is clear that the development of technology, new applications, and new services is at the heart of the research. Indeed emerging technologies evidently pervade through the structured categorising of the FIDIS research. Because the network is a multidiscipline research environment, scenarios have been utilised in previous FIDIS work to help foster academic discussion around specific topics. Indeed such an approach is highly appropriate to aid communication between heterogeneous partners and has helped expose new areas in which potential interdisciplinary collaboration between partners could further occur. Here we have presented a collection of scenarios which aim to introduce some to the areas and aspects of research related to emerging technologies covered by the network.

In all of recorded history, humanity has always been dependent on technology, and to a large extent, we owe every achievement of the last two centuries, good or bad, to its advancement. However, understanding where the evolution of technology may take us is fundamentally important. This is not least of all because surrounding social and ethical issues take time to debate, and legal frameworks are slow to be updated. Certainly the development of new technologies and the convergence between them creates new challenges for the existing regulatory framework, and it is essential to regulate unknown risks, including health, privacy and security risks, against the broader public interest without compromising the development of promising and powerful technologies. However, the adaption of the legal framework to the advancement of new technologies and the addressing of the ethical and social issues that the development and their application may bring will only follow in a timely manner if real debate starts long before they are realised. So often in the past has such debate come resoundingly after the fact, usually by which time technologies are near commercialised and steps to regulate them on any level are notably more difficult. It is certainly valid and appropriate to debate based on reasonable speculation, and we should be mindful of the consequences of not doing so.