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Smart City Privacy

Privacy & the Smart City

Leading cities are incorporating smart technology into how they run their cities, promising to make cities safer, cleaner, more sustainable and more efficient. Due to this, transparency and the privacy of citizens have become a pivotal issue, especially when data is being collected all around them.

The Singaporean government has announced plans to require all cars to have a satellite navigation system that will monitor the location, speed and direction of each vehicle at any given time. This usage of Internet of Things (IoT) provides information on the user to companies and governments, creating potential risks if the data is used for commercial benefits or sold to other parties.

AI-enabled computing is allowing surveillance cameras to recognize faces, allowing city administration to closely monitor citizens breaking rules. Jaywalkers, illegal gatherings and antisocial behaviour will be easily detectable through the use of this technology.

Carlo Ratti, director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, states that the best strategy to combat potential data breaches is for the future governments and organizations to integrate transparency and flexibility into “data contracts between government bodies, and individuals”. Current General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and US privacy laws are a step in the right direction to initiating these contracts