Current research projects

The members of FÖPS Berlin conduct research in a broad range of areas relating to Police and Security Management. In addition to the study of the various aspects of Policing and Data Protection, our portfolio inter alia also encompasses research on Crime Prevention and Evaluation of Preventive Programmes, Crisis and Catastrophe Management as well as legal aspects of vehicle automation. Our research is funded by federal and state ministries, foundations and other institutions of third-party funding.

The project “AMBOS” focuses on the possible responses open to the Police in seeking to protect public safety in a range of situations (e.g. demonstrations) against infringement by UAV. FÖPS Berlin has undertaken to investigate the legal questions associated with measures of police in response to UAV in different contexts. This involves the need to balance fundamental rights involved against Police duties and powers. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project leader at FÖPS Berlin is Prof Clemens Arzt. The project will run from 1 February 2017 to 31 January 2019.

The project examines the needs for additional or independent childcare at the Berlin police. With the help of a survey among the employees, existing problems and gaps in care are identified along with needs and interests. All conceivable childcare options are examined based on these findings including: independent childcare with 24/7 availability, a second daycare center (which covers the closing times of regular daycare centers), and a children's hotel for stays and care on a short-term basis.

The project is a cooperation between Sebastian Bayer-Lemke (Berlin Police Academy) and Prof. Dr. Wim Nettelnstroth (HWR Berlin).

Project duration: January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020.

This research project aims to develop a concept of professional training in interviewing technique for the Berlin Police. The project also seeks to design a seminar focusing on achieving “Success in difficult interviews” to be provided within the context of the joint scheme of continuing professional development (Gemeinsamen Fortbildungskatalog GFBK) involving the states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The project leader at FÖPS Berlin is Prof. Dr. Birgitta Sticher. The project is carried out in cooperation with an instructor in interviewing techniques, criminalists from the BSEL and colleagues from the Berlin Police Academy.

The EASYRIDE project examines the possibilities of new traffic concepts based on automated driving. It is based on the municipal traffic needs and develops various traffic scenarios for the city. New concepts such as autonomous shuttle services and a ride pooling offer that use new communication services are to be tested in practice.

EASYRIDE is managed by the city of Munich. Other project partners come from the public sector (University of the Bundeswehr, Technical University of Munich) and the private sector (BMW, MAN). In the project headed by Prof. Clemens Arzt, FOEPS Berlin examines in particular road traffic law issues in connection with new traffic offers as well as registration and liability issues for automated vehicles. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

Project duration: October 2018 to December 2020.

The aim of the EMRAH project is to develop visual material that is suitable for reducing hostile attributions in children and adolescents (grades 5 to 10) and in this way to counteract the emergence of a reactive-aggressive behavioral disposition. It aims to create and evaluate a total of six series of images, each with three to four images per situation shown. As a result of the evaluation, at least four series of images will be selected for use in practice. The project is funded by the Berlin State Commission against Violence. The project manager at FOEPS Berlin is Prof. Dr. Janine Neuhaus.

Project duration: June 15, 2017 to December 31, 2017.

Deepfakes are image and video forgeries produced using artificial intelligence (AI). They are among others used to spread (political) disinformation, but also to manipulate digital proofs of identity. With the expansion of digital identification procedures, deepfake-based frauds are increasingly targeting private individuals. The FAKE-ID project is developing legal and ethical standards that can apply to the identification and classification of manipulated images and video data streams. In doing so, it lays the foundations for the development of an AI-based detection program to assess the (presumed) authenticity of digital images and videos or their forgery.

This FÖPS research project deals with the legal, ethical and societal requirements for the development of an AI-based detection program used by law-enforcement authorities. Among other topics, this research project addresses ethical issues in the use of machine-learning and artificial intelligence systemsnecessary for the development of such a detector system; transparency, traceability, and responsibilities of decisions made with the support of a ‘weak AI’; legal and ethical requirements for the usability of detection results in legal proceedings; and protection against exclusively automated decisions, as provided for in Art. 22 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. To this end, FÖPS is working closely with governmental and private information technology institutions to design the AI-based detector from the ground up. This work is carried out with privacy-compliance as an utmost objective, in accordance with the principles of Privacy by Design and by Default. In the spirit of participatory research, FÖPS is also seeking to create an in-depth discussion with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations, that will be focused on the dangers of the use of AI-system in a security context.

In addition to HWR Berlin/FÖPS, the FAKE-ID consortium involves the following public and private institutions: Bundesdruckerei GmbH (acting as head of the consortium), Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) and BioID GmbH (BIOID). In addition, associated partnerships exist with the Central Office for Information Technology in the Security Sector (ZITiS), the State Criminal Police Offices of Berlin and Saxony-Anhalt, the Deutsche Post DHL Group (DP), the Cybersecurity Network Saxony-Anhalt, and the University of Applied Sciences for Administration and Services (FHVD).

The overall project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) as part of the thematic area “Artificial Intelligence in Civil Security Research”. This FÖPS research project is led by Prof. Dr. Hartmut Aden and Prof. Dr. Sabrina Schönrock.
Project duration: May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2024.

Conducted in co-operation with Dr Gudrun Görlitz from the Beuth Hochschule, the Berlin startup Noa Technologies GmbH and the State Criminal Police Office Berlin (Landeskriminalamt Berlin) FindMyBike is an interdisciplinary Legal and Management Studies and IT-based study aiming to develop GPS tracking-based solutions with which to facilitate the location of stolen bicycles. The project will also develop standards for a web-based software in which the victims of bicycle theft can transfer data pertaining to their stolen bicycle in a fashion designed to take into account all aspects of data protection. The project is funded by the Institut für Angewandte Forschung Berlin (IFAF). The project leader at FÖPS Berlin is Prof. Hartmut Aden and will run from 1 April 2017 to 31. March 2019.

The participation of refugees in working life is a key prerequisite for successful social integration. Against this background, the conditions for a successful integration of refugees in training and work will be examined in the research project. With the help of problem-centered interviews with refugees and expert interviews with various actors from educational institutions, companies, mediating organizations and administrations, the individual, institutional and organizational factors of the integration of refugees in training and work and related measures will be analyzed and recommendations made for integration management. The project is funded by the Institute for Applied Research Berlin (IFAF). The sub-project manager at FOEPS Berlin is Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kühnel.
Project duration: April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2020

Police persistently face the challenge of verifying the identity of controlled persons or documents on the street. If no technical means are available for this, the person in question must come to the police station for personal identification. The MEDIAN project aims to develop a technical solution with which fingerprints, facial images as well as official documents can be quickly captured, checked for authenticity, and compared.

Research at the HWR focuses on the legal requirements for the device to be developed and formulates ethical and political-administrative framework conditions for its use. In addition, it will be examined how the transparency and acceptance of mobile personal checks can be improved. The FOEPS also takes into account the needs of groups affected and the expertise of NGOs. The prototype will be tested for suitability in a final field test.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Project manager at FOEPS is Prof. Hartmut Aden.
Project duration: August 2018 to July 2021.
Further information:

This project seeks to adapt the latest vehicle automation technology to the needs especially of the disabled and elderly drivers so as to enable them to take advantage of independent vehicle mobility. FÖPS Berlin subjects new technologies developed in this project to a comprehensive legal scrutiny and establishes the legal requirements and restrictions effective on the aims of this project. This also includesthe suggestion of solutions for a legally-compliant implementation of the aims of the project. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project leader at FÖPS Berlin is Prof. Clemens Arzt. It will run from 1 January 2017 to 31 January 2019.

The aim of this project is to conceive, implement and evaluate a recruitment procedure for the Berlin Police Force. The project will start with an evaluation of the existing Police requirement profile to enable optimization of the selection procedure bringing the best incremental validity. The project leader for FÖPS Berlin is Prof. Wim Nettelnstroth.

On the basis of cooperation with eight organizations of psychosocial emergency care, the aim of the project is the cooperation, development of concrete working methods, and the design of a PSNV in the acute phase of a crisis situation, based on the intervention after the attack on the Berlin Christmas Market 2016. This is part of an interdisciplinary research project to constructively examine a crisis situation and to derive recommendations for the future organization, the mode of operation, and the handling of interfaces from the analysis and to formulate quality criteria. The project is funded by the Institute for Applied Research Berlin (IFAF). The sub-project manager at FOEPS Berlin is Prof. Dr. Vincenz Leuschner.
Project duration: April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2020.

The „RSF Hub – Research- and Knowledge Transfer Hub for Rule of Law Promotion“ is a cooperation between the Free University of Berlin, the Berlin School of Economics and Law and the Federal Foreign Office. The RSF Hub connects approaches from legal and social science research practices and works at the intersection between science and practice. The RSF Hub supports the engagement of the Federal Foreign Office in the department of crisis prevention, stabilization, post-conflict rehabilitation and humanitarian aid in an advisory and accompanying role.

The project is financed by the Federal Foreign Office as part of the promotion of crisis-preventing, stabilizing and peace-building projects. The RSF Hub is lead by Prof. Dr. Matthias Kötter (Berlin School of Economics and Law) and Dr. Gregor Walter-Drop (Freie Universität Berlin).

Duration:1st of January to December 31st 2023
Scientific coordinator: Dr. Sarah Biecker
Research Associate: Robert Poll
Student assistants:  Katharina von Busch, Lea Hensch, Rifka Lambrecht und Nicole Sherstyuk

The state commission "Berlin Against Violence", which is part of the Senate Department for Home Affairs and Sport, implements prevention programs against Islamist and Salafist tendencies among adolescents and young adults as determined by the Berlin Senate. This program is accompanied by research which investigates the development of Islamist milieus in Berlin, to reflect critically on the background and the approaches of the prevention programs within this context, and to develop tips for further program development. The project is funded by the Senate Department for Interior Berlin. Project leader at FOEPS Berlin is Prof. Dr. Hans-Gerd Jaschke.

Project duration: October 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017.

The STRATUM project examines the technical and practical feasibility in conjunction with the ethical and legal justifiability of the use of mobile detection methods. The focus of the research is on a modular technical solution with which people hidden in vehicles can be recognized in the flow of road traffic. Infrared, terahertz, and X-ray backscattering methods are used for detection.

STRATUM is also intended to define framework conditions for the application of such detection technologies. This includes to what extent such technologies are not only technically feasible and practical for the police, but also gauging appropriateness and compatibility with the rule of law. The focus of the sub-project located at FOEPS Berlin deals with the European, international and fundamental human rights admissibility as well as simple legal requirements and limits for the use of such detection technologies.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It will be carried out jointly with the university and the university clinic in Freiburg, the TU Berlin, Fraunhofer EMI, and FHR as well as the Federal Police and the police headquarters in Ludwigsburg. The project leader at FOEPS Berlin is Prof. Dr. Clemens Arzt, who is supported by a research assistant. The funding for FOEPS Berlin amounts to around 250,000 euros.

Project duration: February 2019 to January 2022.

In the case of supraregional emergencies, the Federal Radiological Situation Center (RLZ) should create a radiological situation report for all federal and state authorities and coordinate the necessary protective measures across departments. Representatives from the BMU, BfS, BfE, GRS and BBK will work together in such a proposed situation center. This project examines the role-specific requirements and the necessary competencies of the members of the proposed situation center and determines specialized training and education needs. For this purpose, the existing competencies are collected through participatory observations and expert interviews and compared in a targeted analysis with the results of an evaluation of the literature on the best practices of such situation centers.

The sub-project carried out at the HWR is about the development of a didactic concept for future training of the members of the RLZ as well as its evaluation. The project is financed by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS). The project is managed by the Human Factor - Hofinger, Künzer & Mähler PartG (Ludwigsburg) team, and the sub-project at the HWR is managed by Prof. Dr. Birgitta Sticher. The project runs from December 2018 to July 2020.

The fear amongst the general public of the deployment of unconventional explosive and incendiary devices has increased in recent years following the general increase of terrorist attacks and raised levels of terrorist alerts. The immediate response in Germany to such devices is led by the Bomb Disposal Service of both the Federal and State authorities, who are tasked with investigating and where necessary, defusing a wide range of suspect packages.

The aim of this project consortium is to provide the best-possible technical support to the security services to achieve a quick and reliable analysis of suspicious objects. In this project FÖPS Berlin focuses on performing a comprehensive legal analysis of the admissibility of the techniques and police measures tested in this project. Reseach is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project leader at FÖPS Berlin is Prof Clemens Arzt. The project will run from 1 May 2017 to 31 April 2019.

The vehicle of the future is a modern networked computer system. It processes data from various sources (V2V, V2I, V2X), which will enable such vehicles to be controlled temporarily or completely by themselves. For the operational safety of autonomous vehicles, high demands must therefore be placed on the trustworthiness of their data and the processing hardware. At the same time, data protection regulations must be observed.

The FOEPS sub-project in VITAF is dedicated to the legal issues of IT security, product liability and data protection in autonomous vehicles. In this context, the FÖPS examines whether the information technology components meet the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and adhere to the principles of privacy by design and privacy by default. In addition, basic and human rights requirements for such vehicle systems are to be developed.