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Privacy- A Greater Concern of Smart Cities
Data have become the backbone of the world's economy. The data collected about the behavior of people and objects help to make urban improvements like installing street sensors, weather predictions, assessing emergency and social services
Fremont, CA: Over the past two decades, information has slowly been transformed into the world's most precious commodities. World's most powerful technology companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google are driven by the driver called 'data.' They have become the backbone of the world's economy. The tech giants have combined the data and entered into new markets where data runs everything from clod gaming to dating apps to online payments and automated shopping.
Smart Cities or the cities of the future are also being built on data. It's not just the kind of drone flying and robot assistants rather changing the hidden infrastructure and advanced systems that makes the city available for work for millions of people every day. The data collected about the behavior of people and objects help to make urban improvements like installing street sensors, weather predictions, assessing the emergency and social services, and many more.
The data, thus collected, includes the personal choices of peoples and their sensitive information. The debate goes round everywhere on the ethical use of this data for civic development. It raises the question of how can cities around the world benefit from data-enabled technologies without sacrificing privacy?
Access to Personal Information
To ease concerns and build infrastructure based on data, it is essential to de-identify them, but this strips valuable personal information. Two professors from Toronto have proposed a solution to this privacy concern, which they call safe-sharing sites. It proposes to encrypt personal information in such a way so that queries can be run in an anonymized way. This trick serves both the purposes, i.e., runs queries to get data without revealing the personal identity of any person.
No Question of Meaningful Consent
People usually don't have an option to tick the dialog box, as in apps, to authorize the third party to use their personal information. In public spaces, personal information is collected publicly, e.g., taking video footage of people's faces in the crowd, where people have no option to opt-out from it. Again, it can be solved by 'de-identifying,' i.e., the process of anonymizing data, which reduces the risk of privacy violations. As no personal information is taken, there is no question of seeking consent.
Inadequate Privacy Laws
Canada's privacy laws were passed between 1983 and 1990, before the launch of Google, Facebook, or IoT. The technology and its related data issues have traveled a lot since then, but the laws have not. Though the laws were made on strong founding principles, they need to be re-strengthened ad refreshed.
There may not be any be-all and end-all solution, but these above-mentioned solutions can prove much better. Solutions should be developed and tested together, combined with other solutions from around the world. And it is also essential to know what is to be tested and who is on the table. Developers have to operate with extraordinary transparency, openness, and responsiveness to increase and maintain the social license to operate.
Also see:- Top Smart City Solution Companies