Episode Archive

SCP E276 Forever Expanding Data and Digital Law in Smart Communities, with Raymond Sun and Susannah Wilkinson

Hi #smartcommunity friends! In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I have a very interesting conversation with Raymond Sun and Susannah Wilkinson. Ray is a solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills, specialising in technology, media and telecommunications and privacy law. Susannah is the Digital Law Lead – Australia & Asia at the same firm, leading the development of Smart Legal Contracts and the provision of digital law solutions in conjunction with the development of the Australian National Blockchain. We start off by talking about Ray and Susannah’s backgrounds in law and their current work looking at how laws are able to adapt to the new issues of emerging technology. Ray then tells us about his passion for technology and AI, and Susannah, her passion for improving digitised processes and how that involves the law, before they tell us what a Smart Community means to them. We then discuss the importance of data in Smart Communities, the increased use of data and risks associated and therefore the importance of having legal frameworks in place. We then discuss how data leads to Smart Communities and emerging technologies. Ray and Susannah then share with us a bit about some of the projects they have been working on recently and we finish our chat discussing several emerging trends including; lawyers roles in Smart Communities and forward looking legislation, digital twin representation and accountability in the ‘real world’, more flexible and adaptable infrastructure projects, shifts in privacy laws and finally digital identity. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it! 

Listen here: 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Susannah and Ray’s backgrounds in Law and their current work looking at how laws are able to adapt to the new issues of emerging technology 
  • Ray’s passion for technology and AI (Artificial Intelligence) 
  • Susannah’s passion for improving digitised processes and bringing the law into those processes 
  • What a Smart Community means to Ray and Susannah 
  • The importance of data in Smart Communities and how it affects decision making and the importance of utilising data for public benefit 
  • The increased use of data and the risks associated and the importance of having legal frameworks in place 
  • How data leads to Smart Cities / Smart Communities and emerging technologies 
  • A bit about some of the projects Ray and Susannah have been working on 
  • The emerging trends of; lawyers roles in Smart Cities and forward looking legislation, digital twin representation and accountability in the ‘real world’, more flexible and adaptable infrastructure projects, shifts in privacy laws and digital identity 

Quotes: 

“I think Smart Cities is digital transformation on an urban scale.” – Ray

“When we talk about Smart Cities, we’re talking about similar adoption of tech, but also taken up at the government level for the benefit of the whole community, for the whole city. So I see [Smart Cities] as more of an uplift and improvement of a city as a whole using technology.” – Ray 

“When we talk about digital transformation, at a corporate level, what we’re really talking about is the collection of data to improve, you know, through data analytics that can create value, either through new sources of value, or through doing things better.” – Susannah 

“I think also we need to be honest, we need to be brutally honest. You know, we get nervous about the the COVID app tracking our movements, but we’re giving away so much more information through using our smartphones everyday anyway.” – Susannah 

“I see Smart Cities as being one of the applications of data. So instead think of it the other way around, instead of thinking about how Smart Cities lead to data think about how data is what leads to Smart Cities.” – Ray

“I feel like data is the real true source of everything. And everything else is just an application of it.” – Ray

“What’s really interesting is looking at how we’re using data today, how the decision making process works, but really having an eye to the future. Making sure that we’ve got robust policies and legal principles that can adapt and have longevity so that they can see what’s coming and accommodate what’s coming will be really important.” – Susannah

“In the future, as Smart Cities become more prominent, and emerge out of the ground, we need to rethink not just the traditional legal principles, but really think about how new technology affects the way we apply these principles.” – Ray

“Decisions that we’re making now need to be based on the technologies of the future.” – Susannah 

“It’s great that we have these centralised control systems and that we have all of this digital connectivity, but actually, to be able to disconnect will be really, really important as well for us as humans.” – Susannah

“The metaverse is just another term for how we’re going to interact as humans. But people think of it like a place that you can go, and buy land in the metaverse. But it is really just a different way of connecting and interacting. So it’s funny how we, as humans, put labels on things. Or analogies.” – Susannah

Links: 

Herbert Smith Freehills 

Herbert Smith Freehills Digital Law Group

Human Rights Commission Report 

Connect:

Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community 

Connect with Susannah via HSF Digital Law Group Website

Connect with Raymond via LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community  

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital

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