A validation framework for forensics and surveillance biometric technology use

Research Institution / Organisation

Northumbria University

Principal Researcher

Dr Matthias Wienroth

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

June 2020

Research Context

The current approach to the validation of forensic and surveillance technologies for practice focuses strongly on their techno-scientific aspects, often neglecting tests of compatibility with policing and societal values.

This project aims to provide the outline of a more comprehensive social framework for the validation of forensic and surveillance technologies. Validation is here understood to not only take place in a technical sense (validation of the underlying scientific principles), but also for technology deployment outside the laboratory and for societal purposes such as security and justice.


  1. To define basic principles for a more comprehensive approach to technology validation.

  2. To define key components of such a validation framework, and describe their practical links.

  3. To embed this framework within a broader discussion of how technology can contribute to the production of public goods.

Research Methodology

‚ÄčThis project is theory-building, informed by academic science practices and those of professional and policy criminal justice communities. The principal researcher previously conducted qualitative (in-depth) research with scientists, forensic lab researchers, policy makers, industry representatives, and civic society groups. Data were drawn from semi-structured interviews, documents (policy reports, grey literature, opinion pieces, practice reports, legislation), and media discourse.

Interim reports and publications

‚ÄčNot available

Date due for completion

February 2022
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