Sunday, September 25, 2011

Spatial Law and Policy Update

The Spatial Law and Policy Update:
Raising Awareness of Where Geospatial Technology Is Taking the Law

CDT Statement on FTC's Proposed COPPA Revisions (Center for Democracy & Technology)

Data Quality



National Security

Law Enforcement

Smart Grid

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spatial Law and Policy Update (September 14, 2011)

Raising Awareness of Where Geospatial Technology Is Taking the Law



Lightsquared vs. GPS (Spar Point Group)

Full committee hearing - Impacts of the LightSquared Network (Committee on Science, Space, and Technology)

Law Enforcement

Data Quality

Remote Sensing


Friday, September 9, 2011

What About the Jobs that Geospatial Tech Is Creating?

Yesterday I watched the House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing on the Lightsquared/GPS issue. What I found most interesting was that many of the Representatives on the Committee framed the issue in terms of having to choose between balancing the jobs that the Lightsquared proposal might create with the public safety and scientific benefits associated with GPS.  I did not hear any of them discuss the many jobs and economic benefits that GPS and associated applications have already created and are continuing to create in the U.S.

I believe that one of reasons that the economic benefits associated with GPS was not discussed was that many of the Representatives (and their staffers) see GPS as a stand-alone satellite-based system rather than as being integrated into the larger geospatial technology industry that was recently recognized by the Department of Labor as a high growth industry.   A similar type of situation is developing with respect to proposed privacy legislation; many on Capitol Hill do not appreciate the unintended consequences that may arise within the geospatial community due to efforts to protect geolocation privacy.

As a result, it is becoming increasinlgy important for the geospatial technology community to think and act more broadly when dealing with these increasingly important policy issues.  Otherwise, laws and policies may develop around a particular technology that has a negative impact on the entire geospatial ecosystem.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Spatial Law Resources Now Available On Centre's Website

The Centre for Spatial Law and Policy website has been redesigned and is now a valuable resource for those interested in understanding the complex legal and policy issues associated with the collection, use and transfer of spatial data. The website now contains an on-line repository that currently provides over 200 links to cases, legislation, regulations, law review articles and research related to issues such as privacy, intellectual property rights, liability and national security.

The legal and policy landscape involving geospatial data is changing daily, due to rapid improvements in and applications for geospatial technology.  Therefore, the website will remain a work in progress, with new links being added on a regular basis.  Particular attention will be paid to adding links related to laws and cases outside of the United States. As a result, feel free to forward any links that you think are relevant and they will be added as appropriate.

The goal is for the repository to serve as a bridge between the works of noted academics in the field such as Harland Onsrud (University of Maine), Joanne Grabrynowicz (National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law - University of Mississippi), Katleen Jansseen (Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT- K.U. Leuven), George Cho (University of Canberra), Bastiaan van Loenen (Delft University of Technology), Anne Sullivan, (Queensland University of Technology) and Frazer Taylor (Carleton University) - and many others - and current laws, bills, cases and policy white papers.   Such a bridge is becoming increasingly important for both legal practitioners and policymakers as these issues are international in scope and cut across both technology platforms and legal disciplines.     

This repository was made possible by the initial members of the Centre: They include: Google, Digital Globe, DMTI Spatial, GeoEye, ESRI, Lockheed Martin, Pictometry, Rolta and PCI Geomatics.  For more information about becoming a member of the Centre, see the Membership tab on the website.