US: The Centre for Spatial Law and Policy, a non-profit organisation focusing on the legal and policy issues associated with the collection, use and distribution of spatial and location data, announced the beginning of its operations. The Centre promotes the need for a consistent legal and policy framework to address the issues that arise from the growing use of spatial technology.
“Legal and policy issues have a substantial impact on the collection and distribution of spatial data around the globe,” said Kevin Pomfret, the Centre’s executive director. “The impact of laws, policies and regulations will undoubtedly grow as the technology matures and the number of applications using spatial data increases.”
Jill Smith, DigitalGlobe’s chief executive officer, said, “DigitalGlobe works on a global scale to limit business uncertainty and work toward more predictable and transparent geospatial legal and policy regimes. We see it as an important next step in the maturation of an industry that is poised to have a greater impact on businesses, governments and consumers around the world.”
The emerging technologies and expanded distribution channels raise important legal and policy issues such as privacy, national security, data ownership, data quality and liability. GeoEye’s Chief Executive Officer and president Matt O’Connell said, “Geospatial technologies affect our lives every day. The Centre will provide the focus our industry needs to further the understanding of how satellite imaging and geospatial technologies can benefit business and societies around the world.”
The Centre will regularly update its members on changes in the law and policy and will serve as a repository of legal and policy documents associated with spatial data. In addition, the Centre will issue a series of white papers on important legal and policy issues regarding spatial data.
“The Centre is set to become an important forum for education, discussion and debate around spatial law and policy. It provides an excellent opportunity to educate, influence policies and participate in the shaping of the legal framework to address the issues in this rapidly developing sector,” said Kara John, Senior Vice President Intellectual Property and Privacy, DMTI Spatial Inc.