Privacy advocates resign from Sidewalk Labs Toronto project


In 2017, Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs began a collaboration with Waterfront Toronto intended to turn a 12-acre lakeside area into a "smart city" equipped with sensors and responsive infrastructure. Frustration that Torontonians' data privacy concerns were not being addressed led Saadia Muzaffar, founder of TechGirls Canada, to resign from Waterfront Toronto's Digital Strategy Advisory Panel in October 2018. In a lengthy resignation letter, she called attention to the risk that embedding poorly thought-out technology into permanent municipal infrastructure would give control over the city's public data to a foreign company. Later that month, privacy expert Ann Cavoukian resigned her consulting role to the project when she learned that the project would not deidentify data at source but share it with third parties.

tags: Google, Alphabet, Sidewalk Labs, smart cities, Toronto, surveillance, privacy by design 
writer: Jordan Pearson; Gabrielle Canon
publication: Motherboard; Guardian

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