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Will more technology equal more transparency?

There is real potential for new technologies to transform transparency and accountability across whole industries.

Blockchain is a prime example. Known by many as the technology underpinning the bitcoin digital currency, it has acquired a new identity in the enterprise. Today, more than 40 top global firms and financial institutions are experimenting with distributed ledger technology as a secure and transparent way to digitally track the ownership of assets and also to enforce contracts.

The possibilities are far-reaching for technology like this; for example land ownership in nations with volatile or turbulent governance could be indusputibly verified.

And it's not just finance that's experiencing this shift. Here I've highlighted a startup called Planet, who has been quietly co-ordinating over 60 satellites around the atmosphere, to the point where they can image over a third of the Earth's landmass every day.

The article highlights some results from just a few early adopters the company has been sharing its data with: Amnesty International has been using it to track refugee camps in Syria, and Amazon Project has used it to find illegal mining and deforestation camps in Peru.

What will happen once the world is an open book for everyone to read, every day?

Planet’s plan is to make that imagery available to the public, with free basic access and premium accounts for higher quantity and quality data. It’s likely to impact everything from finance and farming to environmental protection and human rights. The company’s goal is “to image the whole world every day, making change visible, accessible, and actionable,” says Robbie Schingler, cofounder and chief strategy officer of Planet.

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