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Testing Tech Ideas in Public? San Francisco Says: Get a Permit


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San Francisco.

The city of San Francisco, CA, now requires businesses to obtain a permit before testing their high-tech ideas on the citys streets.

Credit: Getty Images

The city of San Francisco, CA, will require businesses to obtain a permit before testing their high-tech ideas on the city’s streets.

Supporters of the legislation, which the city's Board of Supervisors approved unanimously, say it is long overdue in a city that has served as a hub for major tech companies and which has grown accustomed to reacting to the sudden arrival of new technologies.

Said Board president Norman Yee, “I support innovation and technology, but our residents are not guinea pigs, and our public infrastructure is not a free-for-all.”

The new law mandates the city’s Office of Emerging Technology to serve as gatekeeper for entrepreneurs who want to test their products in San Francisco's public spaces; companies will not be allowed to run tests in public spaces until the office declares the tech in question a "net public good."

From Associated Press
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