Alphabet’s ‘Smart City’ — Futuristic Appeal vs. Privacy Fears

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Development officials in Toronto recently signed a development agreement involving a “smart city” concept backed by Google’s parent company – but the project still faces doubts from civic officials and citizens.

The project involves Waterfront Toronto — a government-created organization focused on renewal of the city’s waterfront — and Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation company operated by Alphabet. The two entities recently signed a plan development agreement that calls for the “revitalization of Quayside, located at Lake Shore Boulevard East and Parliament Street in Toronto.”

The role of Sidewalk Labs is to equip the planned mixed-use development with such smart-city technology as self-driving vehicles, robotic garbage collection, sensors that keep track of when pedestrians want to cross


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