Open Data — data that is freely available online for anyone to use and republish for any purpose — is becoming increasingly important in today’s development agenda driven by the Data Revolution, which has been recognized worldwide as the key engine for achieving the post-2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Data is probably one of the most valuable and least-utilized assets of modern governments. In that context, Open Data is being widely recognized as a resource with high economic and social value and as an effective approach for smarter data management. The primary purpose of Open Data initiatives worldwide is to help governments, businesses and civil society organizations utilize the already available digital data more effectively to drive sustainable development. Many Open Data initiatives involve taking data that is already publicly available and putting it into more usable formats, making it a powerful resource for private sector development, jobs creation, economic growth, and more effective governance and citizen engagement. In recent years, several studies — including those led by the World Bank — have shown a growing number of Open Data applications around the world, from water management social enterprises in India to agro-businesses in Ghana. The Open Data Impact Map, developed as part of the OD4D (Open Data for Development) network, has more than 1,000 examples of such use cases from over 75 countries, and the list is growing.
The Missouri city has cast itself as the test case for the hopes and concerns about life in a computerized, corporate-run urban environment.
It hardly feels correct to call the Kansas City streetcar, a two-mile route that will open in the spring of 2016, a transit project. Sure, the streetcar will move people. But it will also be the spine of a body of sensors, screens and wireless Internet that together make up Kansas City’s “smart city,” North America’s largest such project.
Future straphangers, walking at night, will watch as lights brighten at their arrival and fade behind them. A network of digital kiosks will serve as portals to listings for local businesses, events, maps and transit arrival times. CityPost, the maker of those kiosks, will broadcast information to smartphone users in the vicinity — over a municipal WiFi network built and run by Sprint. Parking spot sensors will funnel information about empty spaces to an app for drivers. Cameras mounted on lampposts will send tram drivers warnings about obstacles on the tracks. ....
Among homeless young people, across country, HIV rates are 10 times that of the general population. Keeping alive can mean sex work, drug use and other risky behavior. One of the more effective ways of combating the spread of HIV is peer-led education programs. But, says Eric Rice, a professor at University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, choosing the right peer to lead can be tricky.
Now, a team of computer scientists who deal in game theory has created a new way of approaching the problem: a mathematical model that’s able to consider the uncertainty inherent in this social network and choose which people might be the most effective leaders. ...
Predictive policing isn't part of a dystopian future. It's right here, right now, in your town.
In the film and now TV show Minority Report, a future police force uses psychics, called "precogs," to predict crime and identify criminals. But in the 21st century, we don't have clairvoyants or sci-fi magic. We have data projections, digital histories and social media profiles.
Pre-crime policing tech isn't just real, it's now ubiquitous. The business of pre-crime maps and prediction systems is booming, soaking up public finances in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami and dozens of other major precincts across the country. New tech startups and big-data corporations are claiming that their tools can divert police practice away from clunky, possibly discriminatory law enforcement and become more efficient and more fair.
Stats are stats. An algorithm can't be racist, right? ...
For the 110 apps I reviewed, the app store pages provided working links to privacy policies for 67% of the iOS apps and 75% of the Android apps. Of the apps with accessible privacy policies, 62% contained general language saying that security measures would be used but did not specifically promise that encryption would be used, 31% included language implying that the apps encrypted some types of data in transit, 5% said nothing about security, and one policy (2%) affirmatively stated that encryption was not used (although, according to our testing, it actually did)...
A wireless network designed for tech-infused objects like smart traffic lights, garbage cans and garden sensors opened for business in San Francisco Tuesday. Sigfox, founded in 2009, wants to create a wireless network that runs separately from existing cell phone networks and is made just for these smart devices, which require a much lower level of data and power usage. ...
How should Singapore and other smart cities deal with the increasing risk of cyber threats?
The Cyber Smart City Challenge is to secure all of these converged networks and devices from cyber threats. Hackers continue to exploit smart devices to steal, manipulate and disrupt cyber and physical systems. Cyber attacks have been used to infiltrate corporate networks through smart building controls, blow up furnaces in steel plants and cause generators to fail. In 2013, Target, a large US retailer, was hacked through its smart heating ventilation and cooling system, exposing corporate networks and over 40 million customers’ credit cards. Similar vulnerabilities are prevalent in thousands of networked smart systems...
University of Leeds is leading a pioneering £4.2m project to develop robots that can fix street lights and potholes with minimal disruption.
The initial robots will include drones that can perch on street lights to carry out repairs, drones that can fix potholes and robots within utility pipes to perform inspections and repairs.
“We want to make Leeds the first city in the world to have zero disruption from street works. We can support infrastructure which can be entirely maintained by robots and make the disruption caused by the constant digging up the road in our cities a thing of the past.”
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.
A new project is building WiFi access into the pavements of a small UK town.
“Chiltern District Council and Virgin Media have joined forces to blanket Chesham’s high street with superfast WiFi. The unlimited WiFi service is available to residents, businesses and visitors passing through the center of Chesham; the service even covers parts of Lowndes Park – Chesham’s 36 acre park space,” the company say.
The pavement aims to provide speeds of up to 166Mbps, which is considerably higher than the average speed available in the UK....
A group of security researchers wants cities to take security seriously as they implement new smart technologies.
If cities want to be smarter, they need to be unhackable.
That’s the main message that a group of security researchers is sending to city governments all over the world. The group published a paper on Wednesday listing the guidelines and best practices that cities should follow when implementing smart technologies and the so-called internet of things. ....
A look at the digital tool that’s been dubbed a “Match.com” for housing the homeless.
Perhaps no place in the U.S. has struggled more with homelessness than Los Angeles, where there’s a nightly unsheltered count of roughly 25,000. Despite laudable projects like Skid Row Housing Trust’s high-design housing for formerly homeless Angelenos, the brutal reality is that to get support, many living on the streets face navigating a maze of disconnected agencies. Now, L.A. County is hoping that expanding a new digital solution will ease that process.
Last month, a group of public and private interests, including the L.A. Housing Authority, L.A. County Health Services and the Chamber of Commerce, earmarked $213 million to broaden a computerized system that links the homeless population with necessary services. The local United Way will manage the “coordinated entry system,” and some of the funding will go toward 1,400 vouchers for permanent housing. The remainder will go to hire case workers to ease the transition for participating agencies ...
We tested 110 popular free Android and iOS apps and found 73% of Android apps shared personal info such as a user's email addresses and 47% of iOS apps shared geo-coordinates with third parties.
We show that a significant proportion of apps share data from user inputs such as personal information or search terms with third parties without Android or iOS requiring a notification to the user ...
Does the growth of ‘smart’ technology herald an age of urban utopias – or the very opposite? Simon Wicks gauges the views of speakers at the European Council of Spatial Planners’ biennial conference in Dublin
Too much information. A refrain of the age, it was brought up repeatedly at a two-day conference that roamed widely across the implications of data capture, sorting and analysis in the modern world.
There’s a virtual mountain of ‘big data’, the digitally captured information that, increasingly, powers the operations and decision-making in 21st century cities....
The Internet of Things is advancing on a metropolitan scale, with citywide sensors able to track everything from pollution to crime. In the UK, the Bristol Is Open project is a pioneering effort to connect all these streams of data into one “programmable city.”
Tesla Motors this week became the first company to roll out advanced auto-pilot technology into its vehicles, zooming past regulators’ efforts to figure out whether self-driving cars should be widely street-legal.
The legality of autonomous vehicles is a regulatory gray area.
Across most of the U.S., regulations for self-driving cars are ambiguous. In the majority of states, autonomous vehicles are not specifically illegal; New York is the only state that mandates a “driver” must have a hand on the wheel at all times. Only 14 states have considered legislation that would regulate self-driving cars, and nine of those failed to pass bills specifically legalizing them — including Colorado, Arizona, Louisiana and New Hampshire.
In most states, then, Tesla’s autopilot feature is a gray area within a gray area — and federal regulators seemed caught off guard this week....
How the industry took control of a new privacy role—and how policymakers can take it back.
As more of our lives take place online, privacy has become a huge national concern: one survey last year found that more than 90 percent of Americans feel they’ve lost control over how their personal information is collected and used on the Internet. And a sizeable majority wants government to help them get control back by regulating what online companies are doing with their data.
Though most people don’t realize it, such an effort is already underway. Largely behind the scenes, a small group at the Internet’s main standards body has been asked by the Federal Trade Commission to craft a new “Do Not Track” policy for online data, similar to the “Do Not Call” registry that helped reduce the nuisance of telemarketers.
Since 2011, the group has been working on recommendations for a simple mechanism for consumers to express their privacy preferences to the broad range of companies that now get access to their data. But what started as a group effort by technology companies and privacy experts to craft a new type of consumer protection has quietly changed, and today has morphed into a committee where a few of the most powerful Internet firms are deciding on the rules of the game. ...
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