Working with data continues to raise increasingly loud questions about ethical use, transparency, privacy, accountability, ownership and control. Amsterdam wishes to be a pioneer in the proper and acceptable use of data and technology. A group of initiators is now calling on all partners who are involved in creating the digital city to sign the manifesto ‘Tada – Being Clear About Data’, and to take specific measures and to share these with other parties, with a view to the responsible use of data. This should accelerate the development of a ‘responsible digital city’.
Using data and new technologies is a hugely promising trend: our cities will become greener with better quality of life, healthcare will become more effective, and education more accessible. But it raises important questions as well: for example, will everyone benefit equally from the digital revolution? In a world where everything and everyone is permanently connected (digitally), larger parts of our daily lives are played out online. But what happens to all our data? Who develops the algorithms that transform the data into insights? What are the associated responsibilities, and to who do these responsibilities apply?
At the initiative of the Amsterdam Economic Board, a diverse group of frontrunners has elaborated the principles of using technology and data in the city, and has set out these principles in a manifesto.
Under the motto of ‘Tada’ – a wordplay on data that evokes both optimism and caution – these groups will be campaigning in the coming months to encourage as many new initiatives as possible that can contribute to building a responsible digital city. The ambitions are huge, and it starts in Amsterdam. But as an innovative metropolitan area, the city aims to take the lead in this matter and to promote the idea worldwide.
Franc Weerwind, Mayor of the City of Almere: “The Amsterdam story of ‘Tada – Clear About Data’ is being received by our partners with a big smile, and is being adopted. The positive angle appeals to people.” Data is increasingly cloaked in an atmosphere of suspicion and control. We are turning it around. Transparency, accountability and ethics are promising principles for the design of a responsible digital city. Being clear on data is also a strong driver of business opportunities and a favourable reputation.
The manifesto and the ‘Tada’ campaign launches on 31 October 2017 with a panel debate. Participants include John Sinteur, founder of Radically Open Security; Steven Gort, data whisperer at ICTU; Ruurd Priester, research fellow at Citizen Data Lab, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences; and Ruben van der Vleuten, founder of design studio Frolic and initiator of the IoT manifesto. There will also be a number of pitches to promote specific initiatives.