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Ethical technologies and the use of data in public realm

Future Cities Forum will be running an event called 'The Digital City' this November, to debate new innovations that may affect the way we work, travel, live and enjoy our public spaces.

The forum has previously shone the spotlight on digital innovation at our 'Intelligent Cities' event with Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London.

The Mayor of London has set out London's Emerging Technology Charter - the first of its kind in any UK city - which is a set of practical and ethical guidelines focussed on openness, digital rights, use of data and sustainability of technology.

It aims to set common expectations to tech buyers and makers to innovate successfully, give Londoners and their elected representations a clear framework to ask questions about the technologies proposed or deployed in London and establish enhanced transparency for Londoners on products and services that data protection law considers potentially high risk to privacy.

The Charter will cover technology such as driverless cars, facial recognition software, drones, sensor networks, robotics, mobility services, augmented and virtual reality, and automated and algorithmic decision-making. It is voluntary but local government and public services among others are encouraged to adopt it to improve how technology is implemented in the capital.

The Mayor launched his Charter speaking at London Tech Week's Future of Work summit where he also celebrated London as a leading global tech city and reaffirmed his commitment to boost the city's clusters of exciting and game-changing tech companies that call London home.

Theo Blackwell, said:

'We want to foster a trustworthy environment for innovation to flourish and to do so responsibly. When a new technology is deployed it's not easy for Londoners to find out about how privacy risks have been identified and managed. Our principles create a central register of assessments organisations are required to carry out by law. We think it's important for transparency and good practice that these are published in one place and open to scrutiny.'


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