Toronto, Canada is now using phone location data to track if people are congregating

Toronto, Canada is now using phone location data to track if people are congregating

This past Monday, Toronto Mayor Tory announced at a virtual TechTO meetup that the government has been receiving location data from wireless carriers and telecommunication companies in the area to show where people are still congregating and flouting social distancing – The Logic reports.

You Can’t Fight City Hall. But Maybe You Can Fight Google.

You Can’t Fight City Hall. But Maybe You Can Fight Google.

A corporate sibling of Google had been selected to transform a largely abandoned port area in Toronto into an innovative, sensor-laden, tech-centric city of tomorrow.After admitting that it had underestimated privacy worries with its original plan, the Google sibling, Sidewalk Labs, has retreated.

Facial recognition company Clearview AI probed by Canada privacy agencies

Facial recognition company Clearview AI probed by Canada privacy agencies

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian privacy authorities have launched an investigation into New York-based Clearview AI to determine whether the firm’s use of facial recognition technology complies with the country’s privacy laws, the agencies said on Friday.

Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs secures conditional nod for Toronto smart city

Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs secures conditional nod for Toronto smart city

TORONTO (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s Sidewalk Labs unit secured conditional approval to move forward in the process to build a smart city in Toronto after agreeing to develop a smaller area than initially proposed and make concessions on data collection and privacy, the city’s waterfront development board said on Thursday.

Toronto’s City of Tomorrow Is Scaled Back Amid Privacy Concerns

Toronto’s City of Tomorrow Is Scaled Back Amid Privacy Concerns

Waterfront Toronto, the government agency responsible for development of the area, voted unanimously to limit the ambitions of the company, Sidewalk Labs, from its original 190-acre plan to 12 acres.

Here’s why Google thinks you should trust it with unprecedented quantities of your city’s “urban data”

Here’s why Google thinks you should trust it with unprecedented quantities of your city’s “urban data”

The organization would also manage all urban data from the Sidewalk Toronto project and make it publicly accessible by default (if properly de-identified). In an attempt to head off that criticism, the company now says: Sidewalk Labs has already committed publicly that it would not sell personal information to third parties or use it for advertising purposes.

Apple Publicly Makes Fun of Google’s Privacy Issues With New Billboard

Apple Publicly Makes Fun of Google’s Privacy Issues With New Billboard

Apple has placed a billboard, which reads, “We’re in the business of staying out of yours.” The billboard has been placed right next to new headquarter of Sidewalk Labs in Toronto.

Google Parent Alphabet’s Smart City Vision in Toronto Poses Privacy Concerns

Google Parent Alphabet’s Smart City Vision in Toronto Poses Privacy Concerns

Sidewalk Labs identifies five key components of building the new district: economic development, sustainability, housing affordability, mobility, and urban innovation, which is vague but seems to mean using data to improve city services.

Google city sparks fresh controversy

Google city sparks fresh controversy

The partnership between Sidewalk Labs and Toronto Waterfront was announced in 2017 and the plans to revitalise a disused part of the city was intended to be a model for future urban development.

'Surveillance capitalism': critic urges Toronto to abandon smart city project

'Surveillance capitalism': critic urges Toronto to abandon smart city project

Project with Google’s Sidewalk Labs comes under increasing scrutiny amid concerns over privacy and data harvesting. The 12-acre Quayside project, a partnership between Google’s Sidewalk Labs and the city of Toronto, has come under increasing scrutiny amid concerns over privacy and data harvesting.

Sidewalk Labs’s ambitious smart city plans now face a legal battle

Sidewalk Labs’s ambitious smart city plans now face a legal battle

A civil liberties group in Canada is suing three tiers of government over potential privacy issues posed by Sidewalk Labs’s plan to develop a 12-acre smart city in Toronto , which will be approved or denied later this summer.

Google confirms it uses dummy phone numbers to record calls with local services

Google confirms it uses dummy phone numbers to record calls with local services

VANCOUVER—A spokesperson for Google has confirmed the service they’ve launched in Vancouver and Toronto to connect potential customers to trusted service providers funnels customers through ostensibly local phone numbers that are actually owned by Google for the purpose of call monitoring.

Tor Browser at TPL: Defending Intellectual Freedom, and Winning Awards Doing So

Tor Browser at TPL: Defending Intellectual Freedom, and Winning Awards Doing So

Guest post by Jonathon Hodge, Digital Literacy Service Lead, Toronto Public Library Every public library worker will know that person: the one who is worried about being spied on.

Between The Jetsons and Black Mirror: Google Reveals New Plan For Smart City

Between The Jetsons and Black Mirror: Google Reveals New Plan For Smart City

“Torontonians want more affordable housing, faster ways to get around the city, safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists, [and] a cleaner and healthier environment,” says a statement from Jesse Shapins, Sidewalk Labs’s director of public realm.

Google’s “Smart City of Surveillance” Faces New Resistance in Toronto

Google’s “Smart City of Surveillance” Faces New Resistance in Toronto

The group represents the latest and largest effort by Torontonians to start having the kinds of public conversations, teach-ins, and debates that should have “taken place last year, when this project was first announced,” according to Bianca Wylie, co-founder of Tech Reset Canada and one of the lead organizers of the opposition to Sidewalk Toronto.

As many feared, Google’s ambitious Sidewalk Toronto “smart city” project turns out to be a “surveillance city”

As many feared, Google’s ambitious Sidewalk Toronto “smart city” project turns out to be a “surveillance city”

The chairman of Alphabet, the parent company of both Google and Sidewalk Labs, Eric Schmidt, said the project was “all the things you could do if someone would just give us a city and put us in charge.” Alphabet insisted it needed “full autonomy from city regulations so it can build without constraint” and use Sidewalk Toronto as a testbed for new technologies that will monitor and measure urban activity on an unprecedented scale.

Google’s smart city dream is turning into a privacy nightmare

Google’s smart city dream is turning into a privacy nightmare

In a statement, the company said: "At last week's meeting of the Waterfront Toronto's Digital Strategy Advisory Panel, it became clear that Sidewalk Labs would play a more limited role in near-term discussions about a data governance framework at Quayside.

'City of surveillance': privacy expert quits Toronto's smart-city project

'City of surveillance': privacy expert quits Toronto's smart-city project

But, as big tech companies continue to struggle with protecting privacy, experts have highlighted the dangers of the new plan, and answers to their questions have not yet been adequately answered.

Privacy Expert Resigns From Alphabet-Backed Smart City Project Over Surveillance Concerns

Privacy Expert Resigns From Alphabet-Backed Smart City Project Over Surveillance Concerns

“I imagined us creating a Smart City of Privacy, as opposed to a Smart City of Surveillance,” Ann Cavoukian, the former privacy commissioner of Ontario, wrote in her resignation letter from Google sister company Sidewalk Labs, reports Global News. Cavoukian told Global News that she is pressing Waterfront Toronto to anonymize data.

Google’s first urban development raises data concerns

Google’s first urban development raises data concerns

Sidewalk Labs has partnered with a government agency known as Waterfront Toronto with plans to erect mid-rise apartments, offices, shops and a school on a 12-acre (4.9-hectare) site — a first step toward what it hopes will eventually be a 800-acre (325-hectare) development.