India joins WEF’s G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance

India has joined the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance, a league of 15 of world’s leading city networks and technology governance organisations that will work towards advancing responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies.

India’s joining the league is a critical first step towards accelerating global best practices, fostering greater openness and public trust as well as mitigating risks regarding the collection of data in public spaces.

The G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance

Background: The G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance was established in June 2019, in conjunction with G20 Summit held in Osaka, Japan. It is an Alliance that comprises of 15 of the world’s leading city networks and technology governance organisations. It seeks to create global norms and policy standards for the use of connected devices in public spaces.

Secretariat: World Economic Forum

Founding set of Institutional Partners include

  • Presidents and host nations of Group of 20 (G20) in 2019 and 2020
  • Japan and 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.

The partners represent over 2,00,000 cities and local governments, start-ups, research institutions, leading companies, and civil society organisations.

Significance: As growth and expansion of cities brings both enormous opportunities and significant challenges, these smart city technologies can help decrease traffic congestion, improve resilience during natural disasters combat crime, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also, without proper governance, these technologies pose significant risk, notably to privacy and security.

Way Forward

The new global policy standards for privacy, security and sustainability of smart technologies will be rolled out in advance of 2020 G20 Summit scheduled to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The first policy design workshops with city leaders will be held in November 2019 in conjunction with Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

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