Danish company inspired by the Copenhagen Letter. 

Video management company Milestone Systems joined Techfestival in 2017. After two years of work on thought-leadership in our think tank, the company introduced the Copenhagen Clause inspired by the think tank output The Copenhagen Letter. 

Back in September of 2017, 150 thought leaders convened for the very first Techfestival150 think tank. The result was the Copenhagen Letter: a universal, actionable design framework outlining five steps to ensuring a human-centric approach to tech progress. When these 150 humans got together for 48 hours, Lars Thingaard, President and CEO of Milestone Systems, was one of them.

Established in 1998, Milestone, a leading provider of Video Management Software, has spent the past two decades building their entrepreneurial knowledge and expanding their business across the globe. Although the company’s business strategy is already designed with a commitment to the UN Global Goals in mind, Milestone decided to also ethically align future agreements with the words put forth in the Copenhagen Letter. 

This resulted in Milestone introducing The Copenhagen Clause, a new section placed in the company’s end-user license agreement (EULA) going into effect June 19th, 2019. “By including this Copenhagen Clause into our agreements, Milestone encourages our partners not only to involve themselves in the important discussion on responsible use of technology but to also sign the Copenhagen Letter and adopt the Copenhagen Clause in their own agreements,” says Bjørn Skou Eilertsen, CTO of Milestone. “Milestone is holding itself accountable, replacing words with concrete actions,” Bjørn adds, as he explains the reasons behind the clause. “We don’t control our partners’ business strategies. However, we hope that with the Copenhagen Clause we can inspire and encourage them to implement it in their own set of core values.”

The clause is timely, adding valuable food for thought in an age where possibilities, as well as dilemmas relating to new technologies, are becoming increasingly visible. Companies like Milestone, who possess a significant degree of influence and global reach, see a need to advocate responsible use of software and technology. “As a leading provider of video images across the globe, we have an enormous responsibility in regard to how those images end up being used in Denmark and the rest of the world,” says Bjørn. 

“Digital ethics has increasingly been topic of interest at Milestone,” he adds. “We want to create a better understanding of the tension between tech and democracy.”

Copenhagen Clause was enacted in June 2019. This update means that all partners that want to use Milestone Systems’ video and surveillance service, must sign the Copenhagen Clause and its encouragement to adopt the Copenhagen Letter. If a user violates the clause or end-user agreement in general, Milestone System is entitled to end all use of their products. Milestones System was acquired by Canon in 2014. More than 5,000+ individuals have signed the Copenhagen Letter to date.

Learn more about Techfestival’s think tank work. Read and sign The Copenhagen Letter.  

August 12, 2019

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