Sidewalk Labs’ proposal to build Quayside as an experimental urban neighbourhood “from the internet up” should raise red flags for those who care about privacy and democracy. These concerns can be allayed only if Sidewalk’s internet is much more respecting of our rights than the one that its parent, Google/Alphabet, is busily shaping.
Fundamental to Sidewalk’s vision is a ubiquitous networked digital infrastructure. Bristling with sensors, this “digital layer” will capture, analyze, record and display the activities, choices and interpersonal interactions of individuals in very fine detail.
While this can improve aspects of urban living, it also seriously risks amplifying current, problematic practices of personal information handling online, and extending them much more deeply into the physical environment that we inhabit.
Read the full article here at the Toronto Star. Author Andrew Clement is a Professor Emeritus and surveillance researcher in the Faculty of Information, where he co-founded the Identity, Privacy and Security Institute