The Locus Charter

Press Release: “A coalition of location data practitioners has developed an ethics charter to promote responsible use of location technology. The Locus Charter, facilitated by The Benchmark Initiative and EthicalGEO, is a proposed set of common international principles that can guide responsible practice when using location data, including through safeguarding privacy, protecting the vulnerable, and addressing any harmful impacts of bias in data.

The Benchmark Initiative and EthicalGEO are inviting individuals, businesses, and government agencies from around the world to join The Locus Charter community and help to shape equitable and sustainable practice around the use of location data. Member organisations include the American Geographical Society and Britain’s mapping agency, Ordnance Survey.

Location data is currently at the heart of the debate around digital privacy. Tech giants Apple and Facebook are in conflict over how much apps should be able to track users. Recent research shows personal information can be inferred from location data collected from smartphones, and that anonymisation can often be reversed to reveal people’s identities. The New York Times has unveiled a largely hidden trade in location data about individual people, collected from smartphones. As phones and other devices generate more detailed location data, these challenges grow…

The Locus Charter aims to restore public trust in location technology, in order to enable its transformative power to, improve public health, enhance our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, fight climate change, protect the environment and more….(More)”.