Smart City Privacy Debates in the Digital Age of Information

Mia Nyegaard wants her privacy. It’s both a reasonable request and a tall order in this digital age of information.

Nyegaard makes chocolates for a living. She’s also a member of the Copenhagen municipal council where she is active on its projects to create a smart-city infrastructure. Nyegaard is no technologist, but she knows what she wants from technology.

“I’d like to see a privacy-by-design plan,” she told a recent gathering on smart cities. “Only take the data needed, only keep it for the time needed. I want privacy to be a default rather than something I need to think about,” she said.

Like many urban centers, Copenhagen wants to be a smart city. It’s developing a big data platform with partners and recently launched an investment fund with 500 million Danish kroner for companies testing applications in a new solutions lab there.

Among other projects it has smart bus and cycling programs in the works – more than half of Copenhagen’s working population commute to work via bicycle. The town is also part of Almanac, a smart city research project managed by the European Commission that also involves Turin and Stockholm.Read more

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