Yesterday, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tasked his Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, and the Smart London Board with developing an Emerging Technologies Charter, which will set out the criteria which innovations should meet before they are deployed in the capital.
The Charter will seek to ensure Londoners are engaged and listened to in the process of developing new technologies, so their concerns and the likely effects these innovations will have on their lives are fully understood. Areas it is expected to cover include:
Ways of working – We want to ensure that trialling new technologies is conducted openly and responsibly, actively engaging with the public, authorities and other relevant bodies.
Data – We'll make recommendations on the collection, use, and sharing of data collected by emerging technologies via city data platforms such as at TfL or City Hall's London Datastore, so data can be used for shared purposes such as climate change adaptation or resilience planning.
Design – Promoting the best in design and ensuring all Londoners are heard when new technologies are developed and deployed, to ensure digital inclusion and accessibility at the heart of future innovations.
Privacy and security – Promoting privacy-by-design to ensure emerging technologies adhere to the spirit – not just the letter – of data protection laws and meet relevant cybersecurity standards.
The announcement follows the launch of a report by Digital Catapult which identified a number of emerging technologies in which London will lead the world in positively impacting residents and businesses, including artificial intelligence, 5G connectivity and robotics. The report also sets out recommendations on the ethical, sustainable, economic and social policies which should be used when adopting digital technologies, ensuring London’s unique strengths help sustain its position as a global leader in the future.
techUK’s Head of Local Public Services, Georgina Maratheftis commented:
“This is a welcome move by the Mayor of London, and a step in the right direction for London to not only be a world leading digital city but also as a responsible global innovation leader. Technologies such as AI and 5G are helping to reimagine our communities and places. The Charter will help put in place the conditions needed to deploy emerging technologies that meet the needs of citizens and help grow the already thriving London tech ecosystem by supporting innovators to pitch and develop solutions that meet the needs of Londoners and improve outcomes for the city. techUK was pleased to support the development of the Smart London Plan, and looks forward to supporting Theo Blackwell and the Smart London Board with developing an Emerging Technologies Charter to make a positive impact for all Londoners.”