Smart home. Smart city. They have a positive ring to it, as if the place or thing will know what we want right when we need it and adjust accordingly. It’s all very grand. That’s assuming the new technologies are all used for good things.
Geoff Manaugh for The Atlantic considers what might happen when the sensors and new data streams are used against individuals:
As the city becomes a forensic tool for recording its residents, an obvious question looms: How might people opt out of the smart city? What does privacy even mean, for example, when body temperature is now subject to capture at thermal screening stations, when whispered conversations can be isolated by audio algorithms, or even when the unique seismic imprint of a gait can reveal who has just entered a room? Does the modern city need a privacy bill of rights for shielding people, and their data, from ubiquitous capture?