London has recently announced its practical and ethical guidelines about the new data-enabled technologies that will be developed and deployed for public use.
Indeed, this version of the ‘Emerging Technology Charter for London’ aims to create more openness, diversity, trust, and sustainability. This would then define the future path for using smart city technologies ethically. This is for technology such as driverless cars, facial recognition software, drones, sensor networks, augmented/virtual reality, and automated systems.
It was reported that local government and technology companies were being encouraged to adopt them. The charter will then be shared with the Global Observatory on Urban Artificial Intelligence (AI), an initiative launched in June 2021 that has for goal to monitor AI deployment trends and promote its ethical use.
Moreover, the charter was developed through an open process of public consultation with various experts, innovators, and Londoners themselves in order to make it as trustworthy as possible. Hence, the charter is also adding principles around the use of biometric technologies such as facial recognition used by non-law enforcement. It was then underlined that organizations will have to show high standards of governance and accountability from the outset and justify the use of facial recognition.
Finally, the charter states that each organization needs to carry out a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) when deploying facial recognition technology. This is made to identify and minimize the risks of the technology as well as promote transparency.