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Prof Andrew Clement offers insights on Sidewalk Toronto controversies

Submitted on Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The discussion around Sidewalk Labs is heating up as the Google sister company, which has partnered with government to create a futuristic waterside community in Toronto, prepares to publicize its master plan. At the same time, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is going to court to try and have current plans for the so-called Smart City called off, arguing that “Canadians should not be Google’s lab rat.”

Next week, privacy and security expert Andrew Clement will wade into the fray to offer his unique perspective on the issue. A Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information, Clement is both a member of Waterfront Toronto’s Digital Strategy Advisory Panel and a vociferous a critic of the Sidewalk Toronto project, who is often quoted in the media.

In his public talk on Tuesday April 23rd, Professor Clement will seek to contribute to the forthcoming public discussion of Sidewalk Labs’ Master Innovation Development Plan. He will review Sidewalk’s proposed digital infrastructures, networked sensors, open data sharing models and applications in light of several core concerns for advancing the public interest in “smart city” initiatives, notably surveillance, privacy and democratic governance. He is hoping to spark an extended audience discussion.

The Sidewalk Toronto project has attracted worldwide attention for its ambitious vision and ongoing controversies over data privacy and security concerns.

Bio: Andrew Clement co-founded the Identity Privacy and Security Institute. With a PhD in Computer Science, he has had longstanding research and teaching interests in the social implications of information/communication technologies, community informatics, participatory design and privacy/surveillance. Among his recent research projects are: and Seeing Through the Cloud.

When: Tuesday, April 23, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Bissell Building, 140 St. George St., Room 728




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