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Smart Cities – in the future, we’re all just data

Think smart homes are the wave of the future? Guess again, it’s smart cities! And good news/bad news, some urban areas have already started. The good news is, planners and officials have the best intentions in helping us live a better life, the bad news is, it’s sort of creepy.

Eindhoven and Utrecht are two Dutch cities that have started to use various technologies, including sensors and cameras, to gather data and help their citizens live a better, easier life. In Eindhoven’s case, the technology is being used directly to counteract violence in the area of a major tourist destination. Which sounds great! But it’s also gathering large amounts of data that is held by a private company, without the citizen’s really being aware. Utrecht on the other hand has millions of dollars worth of tech throughout its city but can’t tell you what they all do or where they’re at because that’s all handled by a private companies.

This entire thing is a macrocosm for what’s happening with our vacuums and televisions. Tons of data is being collected and stored, it’s just not all useful right now but it may be in the future. Some of these moves on a city level may help to stop crime which is nice, but more transparency regarding the data would be better.

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