Exploring smart cities and their privacy conversations

Since the invention of the Internet, the next big thing on the horizon is smart cities. The definition of smart cities is always evolving. But certain benefits, such as increasing comfort, managing natural resources, and managing traffic, are often associated with exploring smart cities.

Smart cities are not just cities that are implementing infrastructure change. They could change the perception of the city as we know it. In smart cities, for example, there are plans to use autonomous vehicles that communicate with each other to reduce accidents and congestion.

Air quality sensors used in a smart city can also help reduce pollution and ultimately create a better environment. Data analysis robots using large data warehouses can also propose fixes for several areas of the intelligent community, leading to better decision-making.

The current privacy dispute

It’s easy for people to get involved Smart cities offer a wealth of benefits. Nevertheless, there is still an urgent issue that focuses on data protection. The stronger the connection between smart city devices, the greater the risk of privacy violations. Because smart cities rely heavily on data for efficiency, privacy issues come up.

One obvious example of this is the Sidewalk Toronto project in Canada. Part of the land was set aside for the creation of a smart city, which was won by Google-owned company Sidewalk Labs. More specifically, the draft project raised many privacy issues.

Sidewalk Labs could not guarantee that third parties would not use the information collected. Concerns were raised about the possibility of Canadian data landing in the hands of U.S. companies. This led to the attachment of the tongue several Canadian politicians and locals with a request to declare the project null and void.

In addition to the fear of companies misusing information, there is also an urgent concern: hacking groups. Hackers typically perform their activities for two reasons. The first is to extort victims to financial compensation. The second is to gather as much data as possible for a number of reasons.

Imagine a smart city that holds tons of data about its residents in centralized storage with a single point of failure. A hacker’s dream is to violate the privacy of a smart city system. The system must always be connected to the Internet. The longer the Internet connection, the greater the risk of hacking.

Reducing the privacy risk of smart cities

  1. Contact residents

Prior to launching the smart city project, the city residents will be consulted on data collection and storage issues. Several methods can be used, including an online forum for project managers and residents or a moderator panel.

The information guidelines would then be communicated to the people and rejected or accepted as they see fit.

  1. White hat hacking

Smart urban systems should be tested for cyber security. White hat hackers can try to infiltrate your system before and after it starts. The patches are then applied as needed.

  1. VPNs

If you think what is a VPN, it is a security and privacy tool to protect the data on people’s devices, especially when they tend to connect to public Wi-Fi networks. VPN encrypts network traffic to and from the device. Incorporating them into daily use takes a lot of data protection.


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