PRESENTATION ON MOBILE TERRITORIAL LAB – PAOLO TRAVERSO
TELECOM ITALIA AND TELEFÓNICA: AGREEMENT TO RUN TRIALS ON TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF DATA RELATING TO INDIVIDUALS AND OBJECTS CONNECTED IN A “SMART CITY” CONTEXT
Agreement envisages the development of new pilot models to offer leading-edge services to citizens and government, developed under the auspices of the Italian ICT technology centre in Trento of which Telecom Italia is an industrial partner
Rome, 31 October 2012
Telecom Italia and Telefónica have signed a technological agreement to initiate two trial projects that will offer new services to citizens and government and will draw upon new models participated by users to share and aggregate data relating to individuals and objects connected in a “Smart City” context. The use of the data will be under the full control of individuals and organizations that generate them and take place in full respect of privacy and regulations.
Telecom Italia will be working with Telefónica Digital, Telefónica’s research and development arm, at the Italian ICT technology centre and the Italian unit of the European Institute of Technology (EIT) led by Trento RISE, of which Telecom Italia is a premier industrial partner.
An integral part of a strategic alliance initiated in 2007, this agreement will enable both companies to strengthen their leadership in the development of applications for handling personalised information and advanced services in smart environments, including field testing.
The project leverages on the “Trentino Open Living Data” platform that Telecom Italia and other partners of the technology centre in Trento are implementing to process, collect and analyse data from multiple sources, including industry and public-sector bodies. As part of the project, Telefónica will be running tests on proprietary dedicated technology for metadata and metadata analysis.
The second part of the project envisages a collaboration between Telecom Italia’s SKIL laboratory, the Human Dynamics Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Institute for Data Driven Design (ID3), the Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) and the Telecom Italia Future Centre. The scope of the project is to develop a “Mobile Territorial Laboratory” and to provide a field environment in Trento that will help to gather, organize and make the most of data produced by people as they interact with one another, with online services and with a smart environment via their mobile devices, applying rules established by users themselves. Telefónica contributes to the project by sharing competencies developed in similar ventures on Spanish soil.
Carlos Domingo, Head of Telefónica Digital’s Product Development and Innovation Department, says:
“Participating in a research consortium like Trento via our partnership with Telecom Italia will be instrumental in developing best–of-breed BigData products in Smart City space. We will be able to test our leading technology in data analysis in a real environment with real users and in different scenarios, identifying technological areas to focus on. That technology transfer from research to commercial arena will guarantee the quality of the BigData products that our customers will obtain.”
Oscar Cicchetti, Head of Strategy at Telecom Italia, says: “The initiative in Trento, which we are running in partnership with Telefónica, sees Telecom Italia promoting a ‘Living Lab’ to understand the dynamics of the new ecosystems associated with personal data. We are adopting an open, shared approach towards users and government, working together as we seek to identify the opportunities and risks, and how to strike the right balance between protection and making use of information. The key to achieving these objectives is to prepare open infrastructure and develop a ‘real user community’. Together, we will be running trials on personal and group dynamics by analysing data and implementing a privacy-led and user-centric approach as we investigate people’s everyday habits and social interactions.”
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Comments By Ambassador David Thorne at Dinner Commemorating Launch of Mobile Territorial Laboratory, Rome, October 2, 2012
Thank you John (Clippinger) for inviting me to speak at this dinner. And congratulations on what I’m sure will be a very fruitful partnership between MIT Media Lab, Telecom Italia, FBK Trento, and Telefonica. I understand tomorrow you will be discussing how to create a policy framework for open data, so I’d like to take this opportunity to provide the U.S. government’s perspective on that issue.
The Internet ecosystem is complex and dynamic, and the technologies and commercial and social applications are in constant evolution. Therefore, any framework to balance open data with the protection of privacy must be flexible and adaptive to account for innovations in communications and the expansion of technological capabilities.
Just this past February, President Obama proposed to Congress a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights as a means of safeguarding privacy in our current age of vast online networks and mobile data. The bill of rights calls on private companies to work with privacy advocates and consumer protection organizations to set expectations of how companies can use personal data. This Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights offers a dynamic model of how to offer strong privacy protection while enabling ongoing innovation in new information technologies.
The Obama Administration is serious about developing a “trust framework” for use of online personal data. By trust network, I mean the myriad interlinked online connections between companies, organizations, governments, people, and technical systems on which we depend for communication and commerce and from whom we expect a certain standard of privacy, security, and reliability.
Creating that standard is obviously a difficult task. To this end, the U.S. Government will play a role in bringing together various stakeholders – companies, privacy and consumer advocates, international partners, State Attorneys General, Federal criminal and civil law enforcement representatives, and academics – to develop guidelines for implementing the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.
The Obama administration is also working to better secure online environments. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is partnering with the commercial sector to develop more standardized, secure, and privacy-enhancing ways to authenticate individuals online.
We hope our efforts and model will provide ideas and points of discussion beyond the U.S. But as we all know, the Internet is global. Our companies work across borders, and cross-border data flows are essential to the functioning of domestic and global economies. Differences in national privacy laws create challenges for companies wishing to transfer personal data or make financial transactions across national borders. Understanding how to comply with different privacy laws is financially and administratively burdensome for large and small companies that transfer personal data as part of their data processing operations. Legal norms vary between countries, often requiring multiple regulatory approvals to conduct even routine operations. For the digital startup world, which is a particular interest of mine, the burden of compliance can crush a small start-up before it has even started to grow.
This is not to say that there shouldn’t be regulations. Quite the opposite. But if we value continued growth of the digital economy, then we must collaborate at the international level to create interoperability between privacy frameworks. The United States is committed to engaging with international partners to increase interoperability in privacy laws and to enable global consensus on emerging privacy issues.
We need to protect privacy while allowing sharing or openness of certain types of data to benefit society and facilitate the growth of businesses and innovation. Cloud computing, location-based services, and other innovative services based on open government data require consumers and citizens to trust these entities. Therefore, protection of personal data is not antithetical to innovation; it is a necessary prerequisite. Consumer data privacy protections will buttress the trust that is important to promoting positive economic, social, and political uses of networked technologies.
The proliferation of data or so-called “big data,” meaning massive aggregation of anonymized data provides tremendous opportunities for innovation. Making certain sets of data available to the public stimulates innovation and entrepreneurialism. The U.S. Government’s Open Data Initiatives program makes available government data and voluntarily-contributed corporate data to stimulate entrepreneurship, improve the daily lives of Americans, and create jobs. For example, decades ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration began making weather data available for free download. Entrepreneurs utilized these data to create weather websites, mobile applications, and better insurance plans. Similarly, the government’s decision to make the Global Positioning System (or GPS) freely available has fueled an explosion of innovations ranging from navigation systems to precision crop farming. More recently, the Health Data Initiative has enabled companies and nonprofits to access electronically certain health-related information to develop new healthcare products and services.
These Open Data Initiatives involve both our government releasing general data in computer-readable form and also private sector organizations giving consumers access to their own data (such as household electricity usage data) in a way that also rigorously protects privacy. The goal is to encourage a brand of innovation and entrepreneurship that provides societal and consumer benefits.
Taking advantage of open data and big data requires a delicate balancing act, however, between promoting transparency and protecting personal data from uses that are illegal or infringe on privacy. This is a complex task, and I am pleased to see this collaborative effort to find solutions. Thank you, and I look forward to discussing these issues over dinner.