The launch of the digital declaration by the GSMA at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland yesterday received thumbs-up from over forty business leaders across the world.

According to a press release by GSMA, the world leaders who have already committed to the declaration span several industry sectors and include representatives from: Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, IBM, KDDI, KT, LG Electronics, Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Samsung Electronics, Sharp, SK Telecom, Sony Corporation, STC Group, Telefónica, Turkcell, Verizon, Vodafone and Xiaomi.

The ‘Digital Declaration’ captures key principles that serve as a guide to acting ethically in the digital era, helping companies deliver what matters most to digital citizens, industry and governments. It is an initiative birthed against the backdrop of businesses and consumers experiencing unprecedented change in the digital world, where it is expected that by 2022, 60 per cent of GDP will be digitized.

“We presently live in a world, where social, technological, political and economic currents are combining to create a perfect storm of disruption across all industries. A new form of responsible leadership is needed to successfully navigate this era. We are on the cusp of the 5G era, which will spark exciting new possibilities for consumers and promises to transform the shape of virtually every business. In the face of this disruption, those that embrace the principles of the Digital Declaration will strive for business success in ways that seek a better future for their consumers and societies. Those that do not change can expect to suffer increasing scrutiny from shareholders, regulators and consumers,”said Mats Granryd, Director General GSMA in the press release.

The Digital Declaration is a cross-industry movement of CEOs confronting these shared challenges. Its principles call on businesses to; respect the privacy of digital citizens; handle personal data securely and transparently; take meaningful steps to mitigate cyber threats; and ensure everyone can participate in the digital economy as it develops whilst combatting online harassment. Taken together, these commitments will ensure the internet is kept as an open platform for expression and a driver of innovation.

Speaking on the development, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel, who is the first business leader to sign the Digital Declaration, noted that a positive and enabling digital future is integral to a truly empowered and inclusive society.

He believes such a future can only be built through constructive collaboration and continuous dialogue among key stakeholders. “It is imperative for industry to make the required investments to build a sustainable digital ecosystem and maintain citizen’s trust through transparent and responsible conduct with regard to privacy and data,” he emphasized.


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