THE University of Sussex is involved in a new research programme aimed at making digital services fairer and more secure for all.

It is working with Google, the Trades Union Congress and the BBC.

It’s a three-year social justice project, Not Equal – Social Justice Through The Digital Economy.

Professor Ann Light, pictured, will lead on a “fairer futures for businesses and workers” theme.

She said: “Rapid change in the way that businesses are organised has affected working life, particularly as digital platforms direct more people’s labour.

“Not only are new skills needed, but new sources of protection for people with increasingly precarious livelihoods.

“Whether working or displaced by a new wave of automation, people face a range of social justice issues linked to uses of technology.

“This network will offer researchers the chance to address these issues and develop alternative systems.”

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the £1.2 million NetworkPlus project will focus on developing social justice through the digital economy.

It will explore issues such as how to ensure protection for the vulnerable when they go online and how digital platforms can be designed to deliver ethical business models.

The project will also seek solutions to how computers and algorithms can help make services and their decision-making processes fairer as well as exploring ways to ensure that digital security models ensure the safeguarding of everyone.

Dr Clara Crivellaro, from Newcastle University’s School of Computing and NetworkPlus director, said: “We live in times of exceptional digital innovation that can really enhance our problem-solving capacities. But technology can either reinforce inequality or help mitigate it.”