Consultancy Ethics

Partners and collaborators

European Commission


IDEA CETL has been involved in providing consultancy for security projects since 2011.  This has included European Union sponsored initiatives (such as FP7 and Horizon 2020), private projects and giving evidence to a number of parliamentary committees. The security consultancy work at IDEA is led by Dr Kevin Macnish, a former analyst at GCHQ, who has published widely in this area.

FP7/Horizon 2020

IDEA CETL has worked on a number of FP-7/Horizon 2020 projects with a security focus.  These have ranged from providing ethical advice and oversight through projects to carrying out ethical audits on projects for the European Commission. Kevin Macnish is also an expert ethics reviewer with the European Commission where he has worked on Horizon 2020 Security projects.


In 2011, Kevin Macnish worked on the ethical implications of automating computer vision for CCTV surveillance systems as part of the SUBITO (Surveillance of Unattended Baggage and Tracking of its Owner) project. Aside from the project report, this research also led to an academic article in the peer-reviewed journal Ethics and Information Technology and Kevin being interviewed for The Atlantic magazine. It also resulted in presentations given at the International Association of Computing and Philosophy conference at the University of Aarhus, Denmark and at a Workshop on Security, Ethics and Surveillance at the University of Tubingen, Germany.

Project partners included: University of Oxford , University of Reading , Austrian Institute of Technology , National Office of Study and Research in Aerodynamics (France), Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (France), Selex, L-1 Identity Solutions, Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus, Fiera di Genova.


Kevin Macnish has given oral and written evidence to the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee regarding the activities of UK intelligence agencies in the wake of the Edwards Snowden revelations. He has also given oral and written evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee regarding big data and social media, and written evidence to the House of Lords EU sub-committee regarding the domestic use of unmanned aerial systems which was referenced in committee proceedings.


If you have an enquiry about a particular aspect of our work, you may wish to contact the appropriate member of our team directly.

For Admissions enquiries please e-mail

Alternatively, if your enquiry is of a general nature, you can reach us by email, phone or post at the following places:

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 113 343 7799
  • Postal address: 
    Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre 
    University of Leeds 
    17 Blenheim Terrace
    Leeds LS2 9JT

Click here for link to Google Maps

If you will be using a satnav or arriving at the Centre by car or taxi please use the following postcode LS2 9HD. 

Publications and outputs

Talks and workshops

Kevin Macnish has given a number of talks on ethics and security at both academic and professional conferences.  He was a panel member on the ethics of robots in warfare at the Royal Armouries in Leeds in 2012. Kevin has also been a speaker at the Security and Counter-Terror Expo, a speaker and panel member on the ethics of drones at DSEi (Defence Security Equipment International) and a speaker at the Transport Security Expo. Kevin also spoke at the Computer Ethics: Philosophical Enquiry annual conference at the Autonoma University in Lisbon on his research into international and domestic uses of drones.

In 2016, Kevin ran a half-day workshop and presented at the Infrasec Infrastructure Security conference in Bahrain. He has also spoken at three ASIS conferences at local, national and European level, and addressed the Security Institute annual conference.

Kevin has been interviewed on UK television (BBC Breakfast and Channel 4) and radio (BBC Radio5 and BBC Radio Leeds) in relation to his work.