smart cities

Smart City Blues

City governments are relying more and more on a vast network of sensors to tell them what’s going on: stop light cameras, gunshot detectors, air quality sensors, license plate readers, automated toll booths, and much more. While these technologies can help the powers that be allocate precious resources and gain helpful insights, they can also lead to over-policing, chilling of free speech and mass warrantless surveillance. Today I’ll discuss the dangers of smart cities with Eleni Manis from the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP).

Interview Notes

Further Info

Table of Contents

Use these timestamps to jump to a particular section of the show.

  • 0:04:38: What got you into researching smart cities?
  • 0:09:03: What are the positive aspects of smart cities?
  • 0:13:06: How ubiquitous are these smart city technologies?
  • 0:15:32: What are some of the most concerning smart city technologies?
  • 0:16:45: is this data being shared between local and federal agencies?
  • 0:19:14: Can students opt out of school surveillance?
  • 0:20:48: How can the police access footage from video doorbells?
  • 0:24:20: How is this tech used for predictive policing?
  • 0:26:31: Do these predictive policing systems actually work?
  • 0:27:29: How does this mass surveillance affect people?
  • 0:28:58: What about use of surveillance tech in neighborhoods?
  • 0:33:56: Who operates these sensor networks? Who can access the data?
  • 0:37:49: Is it possible to anonymize this data properly?
  • 0:42:06: Can government agencies access our cellular data?
  • 0:45:22: Can you refuse to hand your cell phone over to authorities?
  • 0:48:04: Can we find ways to collect this data without ruining privacy?
  • 0:49:42: How do I find out what smart city tech is being used in my area?
  • 0:53:29: Wrap-up
  • 0:54:57: Preview of upcoming shows