Last stories on 'Open data and privacy'
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Jürgen Schmidt
last week
Jürgen Schmidt
Smart Consultant

The smart city of tomorrow will be built upon a complex ecosystem of electronic devices and software systems. Thanks to the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), smart cities are now expanding at an incredible rate, and swiftly becoming connected powerhouses.

The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) considers smart cities a fluid development, in which increased citizen engagement, hard infrastructure and digital technologies make them more liveable, resilient and better able to respond to challenges. The UN estimates that by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be living in these connected urban environments.

Driven by sensors, networks and data-analytics, connected cities are centred on real-time information. To support this, sensors are deployed across a range of environmental conditions – for example in streetlights, smart utility grids, and chemical detection systems which provide vital statistics ...

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LABCITIES
last month
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

As cities across the country attempt to integrate smart technology into their infrastructure, some communities are starting from scratch. Developments near Toronto, Boston and Phoenix will create neighborhoods laden with smart technology — like micro-grids for electricity and all-in-one sensors for noise, light and air quality — from the ground up.

In the process, local governments are reckoning with familiar issues, including data collection, civic inclusion and bureaucratic hangups, in ways that contemporary "dumb" cities haven't experienced. These planned developments, which typically incorporate public-private partnerships and rely on big data for key decisions, demand careful attention on issues that might arise as the core technologies are introduced to the world.

In Toronto, secretive planning agreements have cast public doubt tied to widespread data collection. In Boston, developers are considering the best ways to put people — not technology — first. And an ambitious, tech-heavy community in Phoenix has experts considering what it takes to build an entire city, much less a smart one, from scratch. Despite such challenges, these municipal Internet-of-Things laboratories of the future are moving ahead.

Jason Black
last month
Jason Black
Project Manager

Modern cities are brimming with objects that receive, collect and transmit data. This includes mobile phones but also objects actually embedded into our cities, such as traffic lights and air pollution stations. Even something as simple as a garbage bin can now be connected to the internet, meaning that it forms part of what is called the internet of things (IoT). A smart city collects the data from these digital objects, and uses it to create new products and services that make cities more liveable.

Although they have huge potential to make life better, the possibility of increasingly smarter cities also raises serious privacy concerns. Through sensors embedded into our cities, and the smartphones in our pockets, smart cities will have the power to constantly identify where people are, who they are meeting and even perhaps what they are doing.

Following revelations that 87 million people’s Facebook data was allegedly breached and used to influence electoral voting behaviour, it is ever more important to properly scrutinise where our data goes and how it is used. Similarly, as more and more critical infrastructure falls victim to cyberattacks, we need to consider that our cities are not only becoming smarter, they are also becoming more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Jose Suarez
last month
Jose Suarez
Smart City Expert

A smart city can be described as a city that incorporates the capabilities of web connectivity, analytics, mobile solutions, sensors, data collection and other technology. This can include surveillance systems utilized by law enforcement, smart congestion-mitigating traffic systems, LED streetlights equipped with motion sensors, smart grids and smart water systems.

A smart city contains a myriad of objects that receive, collect and transmit data.

The purpose of smart city data collection is to enable the creation of innovative new products and services that improve the quality of life in a given smart city. Smart cities have the potential to solve a variety of municipal issues. But, as is the case with technology in general, these cities are also vulnerable to serious threats.

Jürgen Schmidt
last month
Jürgen Schmidt
Smart Consultant

Imagine a major airport with no air traffic control tower. Collisions and crashes would be commonplace. Circling aircraft would run out of fuel and drop from the sky. Planes would be stacked up on runways, stopped on tarmacs and stuck at gates. Chaos would reign. What was once regarded as reliable, if not slightly annoying, air transportation would become a daily dance with death.

Thankfully, the air traffic control tower–the airport’s brain and nerve center–prevents such catastrophes and confines air passengers’ grievances to security queues, cramped seating and dubious food.

Now imagine street traffic in any major city in the world. Gridlock, congestion, transit overcrowding and pollution contribute to an infuriating commute experience.

Why does traffic control exist for air but not for ground transportation? There’s the safety factor, obviously. Even though fatalities are much higher in cars than planes. But there’s also a practical reason: limited runway space. There is far too much demand for landing slots at major airports.

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