San Francisco opens Office of Emerging Technology to regulate IT testing

A new department within San Francisco's city government will work alongside the region's massive technology industry to regulate tests, pilots and launches of new tech products in the city, The San Francisco Examiner reports.

Mayor London Breed signed legislation creating the Office of Emerging Technology, the first of its kind in the U.S., on Dec. 19. The office will connect San Francisco's tech sector to relevant city departments to ensure the public's safety, privacy and security through the testing and deployment of new citywide tech initiatives in the vein of previous projects such as delivery robots and dockless e-scooters.

"You would think we would have an Office of Emerging Technology, or some level of technology something by now, especially as you look at the tech industry in San Francisco. We see that it is the No. 1 growing industry in our city. And what we find is that we are reacting to what they do, rather than being proactive about creating the kinds of policies that would allow for these technologies not only to thrive in San Francisco, but actually be meaningful for the residents in San Francisco," Ms. Breed said upon the legislation's passing, per the Examiner.

She continued, "It's not just about regulation, it's about safety, it's about access, it's about developing a system that works. ... We will have a process in place, a process by which others who create can come to us and work with us and we can figure out where it fits in the larger context of our city's bureaucracy."

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