«Tech Cities» thrive in America … and spawn fears of privacy breach

Experts in the US city of Kansas have developed an algorithm that predicts the location of drilling on the roads. According to their orders, the maintenance teams move to renovate the street surfaces before cracks emerge. A sensor is placed on the main street to alert the police when the driver parks for a long time and then commits a traffic violation.

In recent months, Kansas City has become an unexpected destination for technology companies looking for places to test their ideas. The goal: to turn the city into what is known as the living laboratory.

– Technical cities

It has adopted hundreds of cities, large and small, or started planning, to implement smart city projects. But the risks are great. Experts say cities often lack the experience of understanding privacy and security and the costs of such arrangements. Some city governors recognize that they need to master the responsibilities that accompany the collection of billions of data from the population.

These concerns have increased with the preparation of the city of Kansas to extend its technical experience from the city center to the slums on the east side. This expansion will lead to the provision of free wireless and dozens of surveillance cameras and shooting monitoring systems. But some residents are concerned about the possibility of handing over control of the city to private companies and exposing the population to consequences they do not fully understand.

In Seattle, officials this year began dismantling a network of surveillance cameras and wireless devices deemed necessary by police to fight crime, but raised many complaints about the network's ability to track cell phones. A number of officials were also evicted in the Canadian city of Toronto last month because they tried to speed up the implementation of a major technical project submitted by a subsidiary of Google.

In Atlanta, skilled technical criminals are causing serious problems, with hackers breaking through City Hall this year and demanding ransom to decode them.

Supporters of the idea of ​​"smart cities" say the benefits are great and some cities could boost their ability to save people's lives. Plans under development include some enhanced reality programs that will help firefighters find people stranded in burnt buildings, employ robots to collect sanitation samples to monitor opium use, and direct civilian services to the neighborhoods they need.

– Clear risks

But the risks are also clear. "Cities do not have enough knowledge about data, privacy, or security," said Lee Tien, a lawyer at the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation, whose focus is on protecting digital rights. Local governments bear the brunt of many duties, and in many cases they are more stupid or lazy than talking to people who have knowledge. "

This left Washington, DC and dozens of other cities in the auto-pilot test phase, while Orlando sought to harness the sun's energy to power its electric cars. San Francisco has a system that tracks traffic congestion, while Palm Beach uses biking data to decide where to send street sweepers, and the Boise area of ​​Idaho monitors landfills with drones. Finally, Arlington, Texas is building a transit system based on the data it receives from transportation applications.

– The smartest city

Kansas City is trying to establish itself as the most developed city in the field of technological development. It promoted its use of technology with strong publicity, claiming it was the "smartest city" in the country. She also hosted international conferences and provided advice to other cities, and her son, Bob Bennett, the technology giant, became the public face of her move as a smart city.

"Cities that fail to accept technology today and accept data-driven approaches will remain in the rust belt 20 years from today," Bennett said.

Much of Kansas City's technical progress comes from its selection in 2011 as the first regional capital to acquire Google Fiber, a high-speed Internet and television service, and to start collaborating with Cisco Systems, the technology giant in 2017.

At the time, Kansas City was digging a trench under Min Main Street to build the tramway. Cisco then proposed to officials to extend a fiber optic cable and electronic sensors to monitor the traffic jam as a hole would be dug in the street anyway.

Cisco has argued that the sensors will help Citi Hall understand the city's behavior in a low-cost way. The city also built 25 booths along the tramway (3.5 km) to provide information to tourists, extended Wi-Fi network and installed surveillance cameras and LED street lights equipped with cameras also.

The city borrowed a large part of the cost of the project, which amounted to 3.7 million dollars. Sprint, which manages the Wi-Fi network, contributed about $ 7 million, while Cisco's investment was $ 5 billion.

A vestibule at the bottom of the city center now overlooks all the roads that stretch over it at the level of cars, pedestrians and corner areas. The unmanned system has been used by about 2.7 million people.

But some results were modest. Although the sensors are connected to the traffic lights, the drivers provided only 37 seconds of their time, according to the city.

It is also expected that a crime scene forecasting device will contribute to an algorithm that will take into account all factors of the emergency department's communications to weather patterns, as attacks in the entertainment section of the city decrease.

Sprint collects data from users who log on to wireless networks, including mail codes and search results over the Internet and the site. City officials and data experts revealed that some information, such as phone numbers and other data that may contribute to identification, is available even if the user does not log on to wireless networks.

While Sprint refuses to discuss the data it collects and how to use it, it says its work is needed in cities like Kansas, where people want the latest technology.

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Nawfal Mohammed

Hello I am a student at law college and I am still studying i'M GOOG IN : Blogging, MMA fighter, Designer, Website Management, Bodybuilding, etc BUT my Hobbies :Learn languages, horseback riding, motorcycles and more

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