Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal joined hands Thursday with several other global business leaders to pledge support to a 'Digital Declaration" at the WEF Annual Meeting here, committing to act ethically and responsibly in the digital age.
The declaration was launched by GSMA, an industry body of mobile operators worldwide which unites more than 750 operators and over 350 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem including handset and device makers and software firms.
The declaration calls for acting ethically in the digital era, helping companies deliver what matters most to digital citizens, industry and governments.
The 40 business leaders who have 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, Telefnica, Turkcell, Verizon, Vodafone and Xiaomi.
It is expected that by 2022, 60 per cent of GDP will be digitised. The imminent arrival of 5G networks will further accelerate this change, the GSMA said adding that 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.
"A positive and enabling digital future is integral to a truly empowered and inclusive society," said Mittal, who was first business leader to sign the Digital Declaration.
"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 said.
"Backing The Digital Declaration, fits into our vision to enable a progressive, free and enlightened society," said Stphane Richard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orange, and Chair of the GSMA.
Mobile is one of the most widely deployed technology platforms ever with more than 5 billion unique mobile subscribers worldwide, representing approximately two-thirds of the world's population forecast to grow to almost 6 billion (71 per cent) by 2025.
As we move into an era of Intelligent Connectivity, the combination of endless connectivity enabled through 5G and the Internet of Things, with the powerful intelligence delivered by big data and artificial intelligence will further transform entire industries, the GSMA said.
The GSMA invited business leaders from all sectors to join the Digital Declaration and ask themselves what role they can play in creating a better digital society.