India has joined the league of 15 of the world's leading city networks and technology governance organisations that will work towards advancing the responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies.
The G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance will create global norms and policy standards for the use of connected devices in public spaces, a World Economic Forum (WEF) release said.
The Global Smart Cities Alliance's founding set of institutional partners include the presidents and host nations of the Group of 20 (G20) in 2019 and 2020; Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the Smart City Mission of India; Cities for All; Cities Today Institute; Commonwealth Local Government Forum; Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network among others.
"Smart city technologies offer huge promise, but they can be a Pandora's box. Today's announcement is a critical first step to accelerate global best practices, mitigate risks, and foster greater openness and public trust regarding the collection of data in public spaces," said Jeff Merritt, Head of Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics and Smart Cities at the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Smart city technologies can help decrease traffic congestion, combat crime, improve resilience during natural disasters and reduce greenhouse emissions. Without proper governance, these technologies pose a significant risk, notably to privacy and security, the release noted.
Established in June 2019, in conjunction with the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, the Alliance comprises 15 of the world's leading city networks and technology governance organizations.
The partners represent more than 2,00,000 cities and local governments, leading companies, start-ups, research institutions, and civil society organizations. The World Economic Forum serves as the secretariat.