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#458 Whose Streets? Our Streets! – Smart City Cautionary Tales & Prevention Tactics


Rebecca Williams, Harvard Technology and Public Purpose Fellow, she/her

Rebecca spent the 2020-21 academic year researching “smart city” harms to civil liberties as part of Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’ Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project. Her research was originally inspired by protests to high-profile “smart city” projects like Sidewalk Toronto and a nascent regulatory landscape for surveillance technologies. In her final report Whose Streets? Our Streets! (Tech Edition) she outlines 2020-21 “Smart City” Cautionary Trends & 10 Calls to Action to Protect and Promote Democracy.

In this presentation, Rebecca will describe how “smart city” technology tracks individuals and how that could impact democracy. She will specifically describe five cautionary trends (Totalitarianism, Panopticonism, Discrimination, Privatization, and Solutionism) to be on the lookout for and ways the Chi Hack Night community can Stop Harmful “Smart City” Technology, Data, and Uses; Build Our Collective Capacity to Evaluate How Technology Impacts Democracy; and Fortify Old and Build New Democratic Spaces.

ASL This event will not have an American Sign Language interpreter.