Alphabet's plans to track people in its 'smart city' ring alarm bells

That’s both scary and intriguing. An urban data trust… hmm.

A person visiting Alphabet’s neighborhood in Toronto would have their data protected to a degree by the data trust, which would strike data agreements with companies. The trust could perform audits after suspected violations and pursue legal remedies to protect people.

But Delacroix described Sidewalk Labs’s proposal for its data trust as being an afterthought and insufficient. Delacroix believes cities should be home to multiple trusts with each one focused on various topics, such as on transportation research or using data to develop treatments for a medical condition such as diabetes. Residents and visitors could opt in to trusts that they wanted to share their data with. She envisions data trustee as a new profession with specialized training no different than going to law or medical school.

Huh. Data trustee.

This is the best summation: “It is an awkward reincarnation of Silicon Valley’s blind techno-optimism, dystopically proposed three years after everyone knows better,” McDonald said.