Tagcities

#openIOT assembly and the city

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At the OpenIOT Assembly I just stepped in for Mark Shephard and hosted a group discussion about how to apply the (currently draft status) Internet of Things Bill of Rights to the context of cities.

Just a part of our city session #openiot

We collected the full session notes in a gdoc, but below you’ll find the key points as I tried to summarize and cluster them.

It’s a big topic, or rather a cluster of related topics, and we didn’t find many answers but more questions. That was expected and doesn’t mean the session failed. It does however show that we need to dig deeper into any of the fields listed below, as well as a number of others. It also became clear quite quickly that there are no bodies currently in place to coordinate the efforts and represent user/citizen rights in this context. As Adam pointed out: There is room for a whole group of new NGOs to tackle all these issues.

Please note that this is a work in progress, and that it is my interpretation of what we talked about. It is very likely to be edited heavily both for style and content. If you’d like to get involved, the best way is to a) read on on the OpenIOT Assembly website and b) join the discussion list.

  • Accessibility

    • Data should be accessible to the creators/citizens to create value for all parties, not just the capturing party.
    • We need licenses to be legal/human/machine readable, preferably also with simple to recognize icons, so everybody understands the implications of licensing, privacy etc. Creative Commons model might serve as inspiration.
    • Privacy rules and standards need to adapt to local communities/cultures. Defining interoperable families of rights and permissions is key (Creative Commons model).
    • Licenses and families of licenses shall be designed to be interoperable to allow for regional and cultural adaption, and to allow for layering/stacking of licenses in more complex services.
  • Privacy

    • Privacy rules and standards need to adapt to local communities/cultures. Defining interoperable families of rights and permissions is key (Creative Commons model).
    • Trying to find the balance between the interest of public, citizen and commercial interest, the citizens’ rights enjoy priority over commercial interest. Safeguards for citizens’ rights should allow for maximum public good. The details depend on context (for example medical v transportation data).
    • Information sharing in the public space should be granular, giving the citizen control to go from “private” to “some openness” to “public”. APIs should reflect this.
    • Citizens should be notified when their data is captured, and be able to consent (opt in/opt out) of systems wherever possible, particularly in commercially exploitable contexts.
    • We urge designers to build services with privacy in mind, particularly with later aggregation and combination of other data sets in mind.
  • Portability

    • Citizens own the data they contribute to. They have the right to opt out of commercial use of their data, and can state how they want their data to be used.
    • Users/citizens should always know what data is collected about them, and be allowed to delete the data they contributed to whatever extent is possible.
    • If possible, services should be designed to allow to opt out retroactively after our actions were recorded.
  • Licensing

    • We need licenses to be legal/human/machine readable, preferably also with simple to recognize icons, so everybody understands the implications of the license. Creative Commons model might serve as inspiration.
    • Principle: The citizen as creator of data should be empowered in any way possible.

city session at #openiot

Thanks to the participants – too many to list completely, but I have at least some of the names: Martin Spindler, Erik van der Zee, Marc Pous, Matt Biddulph, Adam Greenfield, Shane Mitchell, Hariharan Rajasekaran, Nick O’Leary. Again, the list is taken from the session notes and likely to grow.

Update: You can now endorse the IoT Bill of Rights, aka Statement of the Open Internet of Things Assembly.

Innovation Cities

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Noticed this study today about the top innovation cities worldwide. Couldn’t find out much about methodology or data used without buying the report, so I can’t vouch for the results. I found it interesting, though, to see Berlin scoring rank 14 – not bad by any means, even though of course the local in me suffers a bit of a narcissistic disappointment (kidding!). What surprised me, though, was that Frankfurt and Munich scored higher. (Boston? Sure. New York? Absolutely. Hamburg? Potentially.) So, what does it tell us?

According to the executive summary, the study is “based on basic factors of health, wealth, population, geography”, as well as a number of global trends as well as indices of sorts. That’s perfectly legitimate. And it may help understand things like the economic influence of a well-developed creative industry, or something.

What it doesn’t capture at all, of course, are the soft factors that really make a city a creative environment, or provide a platform for true creativity. Or the early stages of a nascent creative industry (not even to speak of culture), as these early trends wouldn’t register in the criteria and indices applied here.

So that might explain Munich and Frankfurt – large agencies, well-funded creative industries. But it certainly doesn’t explain Berlin’s ranking on this list. Would it be about industry, Berlin should (gut feeling alert!) way lower. In terms of innovation, it feels like it should rank way higher. (Yes, I just balanced fuzzy indices against gut feeling: there you go.)

Something tells me, though, that whoever bases his actions (or strategy, or anything really) on this kind of ranking probably is somewhat late to the game anyway. That said, I like ratings. So keep ’em coming.