• The programme, promoted by the Ministry of Economy and Business and Mobile World Capital Barcelona, analyses the impact of technology on society and the economy and is collaborating with the World Economic Forum, the Inter-American Development Bank and the United Nations
  • Today, Digital Future Society has inaugurated its third Summit, which brings together experts from all over the world to analyse the challenges and risks of facial recognition in smart cities

Barcelona, 19 November 2019.- Digital Future Society is expanding its international connections to progress towards new governance of digital society. The initiative, promoted by the Ministry of Economy and Business and Mobile World Capital Barcelona (MWCapital), is already working with the World Economic Forum, the Inter-American Development Bank Laboratory and the United Nations’ “Digital Cooperation” group.

These agreements, which have been forged at different meetings over the last year, have enabled Digital Future Society today to hold the (Digital Future Society Summit) involving members of the World Economic Forum and the Inter-American Development Bank. The international alliances will strengthen the project of Digital Future Society, which is preparing a world summit on technological governance to be held in Barcelona in 2020 Its goal is to analyse the major challenges raised by technological transformation, to establish recommendations, and to seek public and private commitment to promote better governance of the digital future and thus build a more inclusive, fair and sustainable society.


International alliances

Digital Future Society has joined the World Economic Forum in an approach to responsible use of technology in cities of the future Specifically, it has joined G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance), an association created by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to progress in the responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies. The institution works to establish global rules and policies for the use of emerging technologies in public spaces and has agreed to co-design a global policy framework for smart city technologies. The role of Digital Future Society in this alliance is to share the experience it is gaining at its Laboratory and raise awareness of success cases detected through the think tank in different parts of the world.

Digital Future Society has also accepted the invitation to join the World Economic Forum’s Global IoT Council  and will collaborate in drafting a report on existing technological governance gaps in the Internet of Things. It will specifically identify and analyse the social impact of this industry both on governments and on companies and the public. The report will be published at the World Economic Forum’s Global Technology Governance Summit, to be held in April 2020 in San Francisco.

Another international alliance is with the Inter-American Development Bank Laboratory  to strengthen equity, justice and ethics in the development of artificial intelligence in Spain and Latin America. Lastly, Digital Future Society will also join “Digital Cooperation”, led by the United Nations. This is a top-level work group with figures from industry, civil society and academia, the purpose of which is to approach the impact of digital technologies on global economies and societies.


The facial recognition debate

This morning, Digital Future Society inaugurated Digital Future Society Summit as part of Smart City Expo World Congress 2019. The summit is bringing experts from all over the world together in Barcelona to analyse the ethical and legal repercussions of the use of facial recognition and biometric data in smart cities, and the role and implications thereof for the public.

Acting Minister of Economy and Business, Nadia Calviño, inaugurated the Summit, at a ceremony that was also attended by Jordi Puigneró, Minister of Digital Policies of the Regional Government of Catalonia; Jaume Collboni, first deputy Mayor from Barcelona City Hall; David Cierco, General Director of Red.es; Joana Barbany, General Director of Digital Society of the Regional Government of Catalonia, and Esteban Redolfi, Director of Digital Future Society. Francisco Polo, Secretary of State for Digital Advancement, will inaugurate tomorrow’s proceedings.

The meetings is also bringing to Barcelona experts from all over the world such as Jeff Merritt, Head of Smart Cities for the World Economic Forum, Ed Vaizey, former UK Minister for Digital Policy, and  Jiun-Huei Proty Wu, Director of the United Kingdom Office of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan.. The summit will also involve  Rumman Chowdhury, Artificial Intelligence Lead at Accenture Applied Intelligence,; Mary Haskett, Co-founder and CEO of Blink Identity; and Catherine Luckhoff, Co-founder and CEO of 20fifty. (Consult the programme here).