Smart Cities

Smart Cities {dumb idea for the rest of us}

In case you missed it – Hoboken is moving forward on something akin to the “smart cities” protocol.

They’re using buzzwords and technology to claim they’re “doing good for society” by INFRINGING ON YOUR PERSONAL PRIVACY. To “track” traffic, pedestrian flow, and all sorts of other stuff they’ll never EVER tell you about! Such as microphones to “listen” to everything!

Not going to link to the story – or city resolution that will make you into an unintentional robot for them. Figure it out on your own. Best bet is to get a Blackberry Android – and turn off location services. That will help. Kick those Apple devices to the curb (that would be great since we shorted the stock long-term…)

Below is a story from one of MANY cities implementing these so-called “smart cities” programs. Just remember the “feel good” buzz-phrases now. Because even if they sound innocuous – they are not. They use those “harmless” phrases to get the general populous into buying-in. It’s your destiny. How will you control it?

Thousands Of Mics And Cameras To Be Installed In San Diego For “Data Harvesting”

By Brianna Acuesta

There’s an unanswered question about what this means for personal privacy.

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General Electric, in conjunction with AT&T and Intel Corp, is set to install cameras, microphones, and sensors on 3,200 streetlights in San Diego this year, beginning in July. The installations are part of a new “smart city” scheme that aims to monitor traffic and crime.

With this news has also come many questioning whether this is an overreach into personal privacy, which is something that wasn’t properly investigated prior to approving this plan. Jen Lebron of the mayor’s office said, “it’s anonymous data with no personal identifiers,” since apparently, the video quality will be low enough to avoid individual identification.

However, this seems somewhat contradictory to what the new technology is meant for, which is, according to GE and the city, “to locate gunshots, estimate crowd sizes, check vehicle speeds and other tasks.” This begs the question, how can the technology properly monitor crime if it the cameras doesn’t record detailed video? While the new additions might not be infringing on personal privacy, it will certainly collect data that, as a whole, people may be opposed to being a part of. Especially because the city stated that it intends to make the data available to businesses.

“San Diego is a very early adopter. While it’s a smallish deal in dollars it’s the biggest deal of this kind yet,” said Maryrose Sylvester, chief executive officer of GE Current.


Everyone seems to be in agreement of the fact that this deal is revolutionary and that San Diego will be one of the first cities to test the “internet of things” technology that GE Current already provides for private buildings. One added benefit is that the information could be made available to developers who are interested in creating apps. Apps that show the safest way to walk home or locate available parking spaces could be a result of this new technology.

Data from the new nodes will be available as early as this fall, and the technology was wrapped into a $30 million deal that San Diego struck with GE for a light upgrade that will save the city an estimated $2.4 million every year.

Footnote: Is Data Harvesting Bad or Good?

I try to put myself in the shoes of both sides. And I see the initial benefits to this program and many others like it.

To use “data” for the benefit of mankind is not a terrible thing. At least in the beginning.

However, something about “mankind” is terrible. It happens each and every time someone is given free-reign over a subject.

You can research it.

It leads to tyranny almost every single time.

Control over others is addictive.

Power, passion, and wealth are as well.

While I appreciate all the unwilling participants in Google Traffic which make my trip-planning easier – I do not want this to go much further. Tracking pedestrians is creepy. I don’t care how far “technology” has evolved. We need privacy. Forever.

smart cities bad idea

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