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Welcome to Future City -- One Giant Data Collection Center

By William Vogeler, Esq. on December 12, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Smart homes are yesterday; smart cities are the future.

Actually, many cities have been semi-smart for a while. Those stupid traffic cameras are an example.

But one Canadian city is planning to be genius-smart. In Toronto, the future is a sensor-filled city. But is that a good thing?

Sensor-Filled City

Owned by Alphabet, Sidewalk Labs wants to turn a 12-acre lot into a data collection machine. The company plans to collect data and disrupt "everything from traffic congestion to health care, housing, zoning regulations, and greenhouse-gas emissions."

"Even the streets are smart," reports the Atlantic.

Dynamic streets will "collect and respond to data" to reduce accidents. Streets will be embedded with sensors and lights that change throughout the day, "allocating different amounts of road width to each type of commuter."

With Sidewalk's flow system, cameras in the traffic lights will "register vehicle speed and predict collisions."

Megamind Metropolis?

There are critics; mostly humans. They fear it will be like the Megamind metropolis, where a bad guy rules.

The worry is not technology; it's privacy. Four people resigned from the advisory board in one month, complaining about a lack of privacy and a need for public input.

It will take some time to sort out the issues. In the meantime, Facebook is moving forward with its mega campus in Silicon Valley. It's part of a $1 billion expansion designed to attract tech talent.

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