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Community smart cities  safe and efficient  but are we being watched  | Upload Smart Cities

Smart Cities, Safe And Efficient, But Are We Being Watched?

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by: Yvonne Doff
smart cities  safe and efficient  but are we being watched  | Upload

Information from a library, hospital or public transport exposed? More sustainability, improved mobility, efficiency and safety? Where can you find all of the above in one place? The answer is a smart city. Its purpose is to improve the quality of life by making the town more efficient and by reducing the distance between the citizens and the government. In this article you will read more about the smart city and what it means for our privacy. 

Improved technologies

Technology is moving forward, devices are becoming smarter, so it is inevitable that in the future we will use electronic devices much more than we do now. To keep the city up and running, the existing technologies need to be upgraded. Otherwise, they cannot meet the specifications and demands of the current system. But what do we want? Investigation shows that we wish for smart transportation, where machines and devices communicate with each other. We want smart buildings, where the windows can open automatically, where there is always a connection with the Internet. That is our future.

Are we being watched?

Cameras are hanging everywhere to guarantee our safety. But do we feel safe by it? We could get the feeling that we are being watched, every step we take is registered by authorities. Besides cameras, all data is collected. This way, authorities know for example the number of visitors at a certain event or they possess information about citizens for commercial purposes. They may sell this information to third parties.

Privacy in a smart city

Like mentioned before, cameras are everywhere, and data is collected. What does that mean for our privacy? Who is the gatekeeper to our data? And what if the information is hacked? The more internet data there is, the more fragile we become. Fortunately, with the arrival of the GDPR in May 2018, the rules on the subject are becoming more strict. The citizen must be informed in understandable language, especially when it comes to data traffic in a smart city.

Costs savings or costs loss?

All these new technologies cost money. To upgrade the existing technologies, we (governments, state or country) need to invest vast amounts of money. However, due to these smart cities, there could be economic benefits coming from the transition towards a smart city, for example when it comes to real estate. Buildings have to deal with endless energy, such as heating and cooling installations, lighting, electrical wiring, communication, lifts, electrical appliances, etcetera. A computer-controlled system regulates, monitors and controls all of this. But this can be done by automated systems. Automated systems can be used for this purpose, and therefore energy consumption can be reduced. For example, the light is turned off at a fixed time, or when nobody is present in the room, ventilation can be regulated on the number of people in the room. This can improve air quality, and will lead to user satisfaction. So yes, at first it will cost money, but in the end, it will save a lot as well.

Reducing damages in case of a disaster

Smart cities use sensors that are suitable for detecting abnormalities in a town or during an event. In this way, the sensors can inform the authorities if a measurement differs from the limited safety features in a city. This helps the city effectively track everything, and if there is a discrepancy, the authorities are able to act quickly and put an end to the situation so that it does not escalate.

Better sustainability in a smart city

Smart cities pay extra attention to sustainability, and this is reflected in the fact that they focus on renewable energy sources. If everyone uses a solar-powered system, carbon emissions will be reduced. We can recycle garbage and use the thrown away materials again. Or we may use free rainwater to flush our toilets. We can also apply durability to traffic by using smart transport. For example, to see where there is congestion and possibly change to a better route. We could also use smart traffic lights. All of this will contribute to a better quality of life. That is the ultimate purpose of a smart city: the best possible living circumstances for everybody, to provide a way of life that is the best combination of technology and comfort.

https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community 

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Writer, traveller and dreamer. Love to write, like to travel. Passion for language, cultures and what happens in the world. 

Writer, traveller and dreamer. Love to write, like to travel. Passion for language, cultures and what happens in the world. 

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Smart Cities, Safe And Efficient, But Are We Being Watched?

Information from a library, hospital or public transport exposed? More sustainability , improved mobility, efficiency and safety? Where can you find all of the above in one place? The answer is a smart city. Its purpose is to improve the quality of life by making the town more efficient and by reducing the distance between the citizens and the government. In this article you will read more about the smart city and what it means for our privacy.  Improved technologies Technology is moving forward, devices are becoming smarter, so it is inevitable that in the future we will use electronic devices much more than we do now. To keep the city up and running, the existing technologies need to be upgraded. Otherwise, they cannot meet the specifications and demands of the current system. But what do we want? Investigation shows that we wish for smart transportation, where machines and devices communicate with each other. We want smart buildings, where the windows can open automatically, where there is always a connection with the Internet. That is our future. Are we being watched? Cameras are hanging everywhere to guarantee our safety. But do we feel safe by it? We could get the feeling that we are being watched, every step we take is registered by authorities. Besides cameras, all data is collected. This way, authorities know for example the number of visitors at a certain event or they possess information about citizens for commercial purposes. They may sell this information to third parties. Privacy in a smart city Like mentioned before, cameras are everywhere, and data is collected. What does that mean for our privacy? Who is the gatekeeper to our data? And what if the information is hacked? The more internet data there is, the more fragile we become. Fortunately, with the arrival of the GDPR in May 2018, the rules on the subject are becoming more strict. The citizen must be informed in understandable language, especially when it comes to data traffic in a smart city. Costs savings or costs loss? All these new technologies cost money. To upgrade the existing technologies, we (governments, state or country) need to invest vast amounts of money. However, due to these smart cities , there could be economic benefits coming from the transition towards a smart city, for example when it comes to real estate. Buildings have to deal with endless energy, such as heating and cooling installations, lighting, electrical wiring, communication, lifts, electrical appliances, etcetera. A computer-controlled system regulates, monitors and controls all of this. But this can be done by automated systems. Automated systems can be used for this purpose, and therefore energy consumption can be reduced. For example, the light is turned off at a fixed time, or when nobody is present in the room, ventilation can be regulated on the number of people in the room. This can improve air quality, and will lead to user satisfaction. So yes, at first it will cost money, but in the end, it will save a lot as well. Reducing damages in case of a disaster Smart cities use sensors that are suitable for detecting abnormalities in a town or during an event. In this way, the sensors can inform the authorities if a measurement differs from the limited safety features in a city. This helps the city effectively track everything, and if there is a discrepancy, the authorities are able to act quickly and put an end to the situation so that it does not escalate. Better sustainability in a smart city Smart cities pay extra attention to sustainability, and this is reflected in the fact that they focus on renewable energy sources . If everyone uses a solar-powered system, carbon emissions will be reduced. We can recycle garbage and use the thrown away materials again. Or we may use free rainwater to flush our toilets. We can also apply durability to traffic by using smart transport. For example, to see where there is congestion and possibly change to a better route. We could also use smart traffic lights. All of this will contribute to a better quality of life. That is the ultimate purpose of a smart city: the best possible living circumstances for everybody, to provide a way of life that is the best combination of technology and comfort. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community