According to the boss of Tech City, Londoners should be keener to share their personal data as it improves their quality of life.
The chief executive of the Shoreditch-based non-profit organisation to support tech firms, Gerard Grech have faith in making more anonymised personal data available to borough councils would generate better services.
Mr Grech called for a “digital-social contract”, inspired by schemes in Iceland and Israel. Sharing could be as simple as evaluating Oyster cards to improve traffic flow or train punctuality.
He said at Hackney council, officers gave planning documents to “ethical hackers” who wrote algorithms to make it easier for residents to apply for extensions and loft conversions.
He said: “If we’re able to find a technique in which people are ready to give some of their data in order for local government to make better, more informed decisions so that we can cooperatively live in a better state, that’s a positive step forward.”
But his comments come amid fears over security putting customers’ personal details at risk after the TalkTalk website was hacked last week.
Daniel Nesbitt privacy campaigner of Big Brother Watch, cautioned: “It is all well and good for companies to ask for more information but strong encryption is necessary, as cases such as TalkTalk have shown.”