Cities, new technologies and privacy

Cities, new technologies and privacy

Monday, 20th of August of 2018

Nowadays societies are experimenting a fast and forced adaptation to new technologies due to the extreme portability of new devices and the constant struggle of cities to keep their facilities, amenities and security forces up·to·date.

To achieve this different gadgets and appliances are being installed in our environments (cameras, microphones, light, temperature and moisture sensors, traffic radars…), offering new opportunities to business and professionals, and improving city services while huge amounts of data are generated and analysed to carry out different actions. Many times, this data contains information about citizen behaviour, habits, situation… and it’s not strange to feel fearful about what kind of usage this data can have with dishonest intentions. Internet of Things is a recent movement to connect devices and sensors through Internet, and this fact supposes a risk. Security Protocols are not infallible, hackers can take advantage of Software/Hardware vulnerabilities to reach some generated information.

Even more, with massive new devices adoption of recent years (phones, connected watches, fit tracking bands, incoming augmented reality glasses…), this unstoppable data generation is also integrated in our lifestyles and we have become walking Bluetooth and Wi-Fi antennas that expose in the air narrow and winding roads to our personal information while our devices keep listening constantly what we say, locating us in the world and recording our physical activity. Most of the connections and data transfers are encrypted avoiding undesired agents to scan that information, but not all users can be completely aware of the different malicious skills and techniques used in the dark side of this Information Technologies era.

Nevertheless, security protocols are quite stable in industry and many standards protocols, normative and quality controls are imposed into devices production, software development and manufacturers to avoid as far as possible security leaks.

Then, why is this post important? In CitiSim we are aware of all these problematics and we believe in a technological future whose connected cities provide security together with privacy, with the latter as a first aim to offer citizens a sense of control over their own life. For this, warning users about technology contexts and privacy is required to keep users aware and informed.

During the implementation of the components in CitiSim, security is a must when thinking in production stage, and non-profiled data is used in common situations to avoid user identification without their permission.

Are you ready for smart and secure cities? After reading this post maybe you are not as much as you thought but don’t worry, we are here to make it as easy and comfortable as possible.

Author: Javier Sánchez Riquelme

Company: Answare