Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ZDNet: Smart cities, sensors and their potential side effects

An interesting read about possible privacy issues in smart cities

Your future city will be networked to the hilt with sensors that will enable new “urban actors”—think bridges, bricks and traffic signals—that will communicate with its inhabitants. But as cities become more networked there are risks to their evolution.
The argument: Cities have evolved because they provide the opportunity for reinvention and ability to be anonymous. A networked city fabric is a threat. To wit: Do you really want to know everything about your neighbor? If you did know your neighbor’s religion, thoughts and social circle you may know too much. Simply put, sensor-laden cities may become decidedly less comfortable. Greenfield’s talk highlighted how cities evolved with neighborhoods, landmarks and “legibility.” If technologies—think RFID—remove those boundaries it’s hard to model a city.

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