Latest Faculty of Information Events
Jan 22
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Sidewalk Labs’ Quayside project: Will it advance privacy, identity and security rights?

184-200 College St. Room 130

As part of the IPSI* lecture series, Faculty of Information privacy expert  and Professor Emeritus,  Andrew Clement will discuss

Sidewalk Labs’ proposal for building the Quayside neighbourhood of Toronto’s waterfront “from the internet up” has attracted world-wide attention for its ambitious vision and ongoing controversies. Fundamental to the vision is a ubiquitous networked digital infrastructure. Bristling with sensors, this ‘digital layer’ would capture, analyze, record and display the activities of individuals and devices in very fine detail.

Google-affiliated Sidewalk Labs claims the data produced would provide the basis for a host of applications to make urban living more efficient, sustainable and convenient. But unsurprisingly, this has provoked an active debate centred on democratic governance and protecting the data rights of residents, privacy most notably. Sidewalk has recently released its ambitious Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP), which is now being assessed to determine whether it is sufficiently worthy to proceed to the next stage of the process. Waterfront Toronto, the quasi-governmental body in charge of the project is scheduled to make its decision March 31.

Professor Clement is a member of Waterfront Toronto’s Digital Strategy Advisory Panel (DSAP). This talk seeks to contribute to the current public consultations on the MIDP. The presentation will critically examine Sidewalk’s core digital proposals and highlight key issues in relation to proposed infrastructures, networked sensors and data applications.

*Identity, Privacy and Security Institute, University of Toronto