Making the world a safer place – INTERPOL’s views on the ROXANNE Project

Today’s crimes are increasingly international and INTERPOL provides a platform for cooperation in the global security architecture by enabling our 195 member countries to work together for a safer world. Through INTERPOL policing capabilities, Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) across the world have the ability to exchange data within a dedicated and restricted environment, in accordance with our Rules on the Processing of Data that meet the highest level of international data privacy requirements.

Since crimes evolve, INTERPOL keeps an eye on the future through research and development of international crime and its trends. The impact of new technologies on criminal activity is one of these areas, in which LEAs must remain at the forefront of innovation to stay ahead of criminals. By participating in the research efforts into the development of an innovative policing solution such as ROXANNE, INTERPOL’s contribution focuses on end-users needs and outreach as well as on the legal implications. In order to ensure an effective and lawful implementation of new police technologies, it is essential to have an appropriate legal framework based on the principle of the rule of law and fundamental human rights. ROXANNE is an example in this regard, which emphasizes strengthening security while minimizing impacts on fundamental rights, such as privacy.

When the ROXANNE research project was launched in 2019 at IDIAP in Switzerland, the consortium did not know about the challenges that lay ahead, such as data availability (key to evaluate algorithmic models) given limited access to real-world data, or the need to adapt to the pandemic constraints and organize the first field test in a 100% remote format.

Three years after the project launch, we achieved a lot as a multidisciplinary consortium of 25 partners from 15 countries, bringing together 11 LEAs, as well as several representatives from industry and academia. Together we explored the operational, technical, legal, societal and ethical perspectives related to the evolving field of advanced data analysis technologies. In particular, we worked hard to ensure that the final solution meets the operational needs of law enforcement, while guided by the privacy-by-design approach, integrating requirements for legal compatibility with INTERPOL’s Rules on the Processing of Data, EU legal framework and national legislation.

ROXANNE’s research objective is aligned with INTERPOL’s mission of making the world a safer place. INTERPOL will keep working on coordinating police work globally and being a frontrunner in supporting groundbreaking research, within by a robust legal framework, to fight crime.