In rapidly digitizing cities, ethical and responsible use of data is a major challenge. As is the case in Amsterdam. Professionals from the Amsterdam region therefore wrote the manifesto ‘Tada – data disclosed’. Governments, companies and other organizations from other regions are invited to use and sign the document, to show their ambitions to shape a responsible digital city.
"'Data' is being pushed into a dark corner of control and suspicion. We want to turn that around. We believe in transparency, privacy, responsibility, ownership, oversight and ethics as a strong starting point to design a responsible digital city."
The promises of data and new technologies for urban challenges are huge; our cities become greener and more inhabitable, healthcare more effective and education better accessible. Besides big promises, there are also big questions. Does everyone benefit, for example, equally from the digital revolution? What happens with all our data, as more of our daily life goes online? Who develops the algorithms that make all these data meaningful? And what responsibility comes along with creating these algorithms?
In the last few months, a variety of professionals, thinkers and do-ers at the invitation of the Amsterdam Economic Board have agonized over these questions. The outcome is the manifesto 'Tada – data disclosed’, which contains values that, according to the founders, should be valid in responsible digital cities.
Tada is a play on words that symbolizes on one hand optimism, as we see a lot of opportunities in new technologies, and on the other hand alertness, in a sense that we should we be aware of any possible negative side effects.
Whatever the digital future will be like: by deliberately addressing both the potentials and threats of digital technologies, we can prevent civil rights to be compromised and ensure that our digital society benefits everyone.