Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

Are Smart and Private Irreconciliable?

Are our cities become smarter, is our privacy inevitability threatened?

The Forum for Privacy has produced some good graphics showing how things are developing. Sharing information across our telco connections and among utility providers is already widely and easily accepted.



Information is increasingly being shared within our transport system but the rate that this is increasing is causing some concerns.


But what about even more expanded government use of our data – with body cams on mobile police and social network monitoring?


The FPF provides a thoughtful analysis of these trends, but others not so much.

Dan Shefet presented recently in Singapore on the risks he thinks these developments face. He, famously, won a court case forcing Google to delete defamatory information about it.

His thesis is that smart city developments are out of control. He quotes the risks posed by cyber attacks and computer code bug rises. He’s right to insist cities and governments make these trade offs clearer. But he’s misguided in his shotgun approach and, frankly, scare mongering. He could be more valuable if he partnered with cities more to reconcile our future expectations with our privacy needs.

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