Launching the Locus Charter

EthicalGEO is proud to partner with the Benchmark Initiative to launch the Locus Charter, a set of guidelines promoting the ethical and responsible use of location data around the world. 

The Locus Charter stemmed out of a partnership between EthicalGEO and the Benchmark Initiative first made in 2019.  Over the course of the last year and a half, Benchmark and EthicalGEO established a network of interested individuals and organizations working to advance the applications of ethical location data collection. We hosted ten workshops in different regions around the world to gain global perspectives on what it means to use location data responsibly. 

Eventually, we came away with ten founding principles to present to the public for further input and refinement:

  1. Realize opportunities,
  2. Understand impacts,
  3. Do no harm,
  4. Protect the vulnerable,
  5. Address bias,
  6. Minimize intrusion,
  7. Minimize data,
  8. Protect privacy,
  9. Prevent identification of individuals, and,
  10. Provide accountability.

Last week, a series of geospatial industry leaders came together to discuss the history, suggest applications, and chart the future of the initiative. The panel included Dr. Nadine Alameh of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), Ms. Lisa Allen at Ordnance Survey, Mr. Ed Parsons of Google, Mr. Olivier Thereaux at the Open Data Institute (ODI), Ms. Denise McKenzie and Mr. Ben Hawes, Co-Directors of the Benchmark Initiative, and Dr. Christopher Tucker our chair at American Geographical Society (AGS). If you missed the event check it out here:

Now we are asking YOU to help us continue to further the mission of the Locus Charter. We encourage anyone–individuals and organizations alike–who envisions a future with inclusive, open, and fair location data utilization to read the charter and join our Community of Interest network.

Whether you are a location data practitioner, student, educator, industry partner, or only an enthusiastic supporter, we are seeking your reactions to the Charter, questions about the content, ideas for implementation of the principles, or connections to related projects . If you’d like to share your feedback, please join the Community and send us a note at

Read more about the launch in: