Google's 'Smart City of Surveillance' Faces New Resistance in Toronto
Publisher: The Intercept
Date Written: 13/11/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23094
A plan to develop 12 acres of the valuable waterfront just southeast of downtown Toronto
by the government agency Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs, owned by Googles parent company Alphabet Inc. has sparked concerns about privacy and lack of public consultation. A recent slew of resignations from its board has made these concerns increasingly urgent and public.
From the start, activists, technology researchers, and some government officials have been skeptical about the idea of putting Google, or one of its sister companies, in charge of a city. Their suspicions about turning part of Toronto into a corporate test bed were triggered, at first, by the companys history of unethical corporate practices and surreptitious data collection. They have since been borne out by Quaysides secret and undemocratic development process, which has been plagued by a lack of public input. In recent months, a series of prominent resignations from advisory board members, along with organized resistance from concerned residents, have added to the growing public backlash against the project.