How Smart City Initiatives are Collecting and Protecting Data
As cities are going through a digital transformation, and become better connected, these processes generate, collect and handle a vast amount of data. This article takes a brief look at the way in which current initiatives collect and share data, as well as handle privacy concerns.
Alphabet’s Coord initiative uses augmented reality to collect asset data from curbs via user-submitted photos. The data include the length of curbs, and depth and location of specific details like curb cuts, which then helps provide more accurate parking and standing information to drivers in real-time.
NACTO’s SharedStreets is an initiative to use different data in order to provide a standard, global, non-proprietary system for describing streets, which in turn can allow various parties, including both companies and authorities, to collaborate more effectively to identify and manage street space.
NACTO also works with also works with the Los Angeles department of transportation, launching a platform which, among other uses, allows customers, governments, service providers, and infrastructure managers to exchange real-time data that can improve the safety and efficiency of transportation.
Remix uses a cloud-based platform which allows the visualization of statistical data, such as figures on collisions, curb activity, street centerlines, and right-of-ways. Cities can then use this data to visualize and plan for services such as public transit, better accessibility, streets and their redevelopment, and new mobility services.
The World Bank has partnered with Southeast Asian ride-hailing unicorn Grab, Brazil’s Easy Taxi, and France’s Le.Taxi to connect local governments and organizations with traffic data, providing this data in order to ease congestion and increase road safety in some of Asia’s more overburdened traffic infrastructures.
All these initiatives raise concerns about the responsibility of private companies which are collecting public data. A proposed solution is the use of data trusts, legal structures that provide independent third-party stewardship of data in an accessible and standardized manner.
The UK government is piloting two data trusts, while Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs initiative has proposed the use of a Civic Data Trust as a response to the growing privacy concerns over its activities.
Other solutions are also being tested. Barcelona has launched Open Data BCN, a safe, open portal for holding citizen data. Australia has launched Fair Data, a trust marker that ensures consumers that their data will be handled ethically and securely. As data collection increases so should efforts to protect the collected data.
The original article can be found on CBINSIGHTS.