Latest in Gear

Image credit:

San Francisco may open a new office to prevent 'reckless' tech rollouts

You might not see a repeat of the scooter scourge.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 13, 2019
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

San Francisco has a history of dealing with out-of-control tech deployments -- just ask people who had to wade through piles of scooters for months until the city started the permit process. Companies might have to be more careful going forward, however. Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee has revealed a proposal to establish an Office of Emerging Technology that could rein in the more 'reckless' impulses of tech firms. It would help companies obtain permits and licenses from appropriate departments, but it would also gauge the potential effects of a rollout and shut down projects that could harm privacy, safety and security.

It would likewise keep a watch out for the impact of automation on workers. Matching legislation, meanwhile, would let the office recommend fines for those companies that ignore the permit process.

The public will have 30 days to comment on the measure establishing the Office before it goes to a Board of Supervisors vote. You wouldn't have to wait long to see the Office in action if it passes -- it could open as soon as January.

This might not thrill tech startups who want to put their technology in the field quickly. They might not back away, but they may take longer to deploy their offerings. Not that residents will necessarily complain. Tech giants have a long history of introducing products and features without considering the social impact. This would at least put the brakes on those introductions that would hurt San Franciscans in a tangible way.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
DoorDash lets restaurants add their own delivery drivers to its service

DoorDash lets restaurants add their own delivery drivers to its service

View
Justice Department sues Facebook over H-1B hiring practices

Justice Department sues Facebook over H-1B hiring practices

View
macOS Big Sur review: A mix of new and familiar

macOS Big Sur review: A mix of new and familiar

View
The gold, 8th-generation iPad returns to $299 at Amazon

The gold, 8th-generation iPad returns to $299 at Amazon

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr