Legislation Would Designate Agency to Lead Smart City Implementation; Smart Streetlights, Utility Meters, etc.

By B.N. Frank

A 2018 survey revealed that 66% of Americans did NOT want to live in “Smart Cities” due to privacy and security risks.  Worldwide opposition to “Smart Cities” continues to increase due to concerns about significant cybersecurity, economic, privacy, safety, health and environmental risks (see 1, 2, 3, 4).

In 2020, Toronto cancelled its “Smart City” plans due to public pressure (see 1, 2).  Despite warnings and risks, some U.S. cities have already become “Smart.” Legislators are also still promoting it at the federal, state, and local level.  This now includes New York City council members.

From Smart Cities Dive:

NYC bill would have single agency lead smart city tech implementation

Dive Brief:

  • A bill before the New York City Council would have the city’s mayor designate one agency to coordinate the implementation of wide-ranging smart city technologies and establish a working group to review that implementation.
  • The legislation, introduced by Councilmembers Ben Kallos, Helen Rosenthal and Kalman Yeger, would give the city agency broad oversight over technology including smart streetlights, location beacons, smart water meters, automated real-time public transit service adjustments, smart power and gas meters, and smart trash and recycling receptacles. The bill was referred to the Committee on Technology for discussion last month and awaits a hearing.
  • The proposed working group would be made up of representatives from a variety of city agencies, elected officials and those “with experience or expertise in smart city technologies,” the bill reads. The group would be required to submit an annual report reviewing the implementation of smart city technologies and making recommendations on the addition of more technologies in the city.

Dive Insight:

New York City has looked to position itself as a smart city leader in the United States and worldwide, and has maintained its spot as one of the top places for tech workers, both in terms of job opportunities and salaries. In an email, Kallos said the legislation was inspired by the efforts of other cities globally, including London, Barcelona and Dubai.

“The legislation was inspired by seeing the huge potential and what could be done by simply having smart trash cans and how that would improve the city,” Kallos, the bill’s lead sponsor, said. “Looking out around we see places like Barcelona and Dubai, even good old London moving and putting forth smart city tech. I just don’t want to see New York City keep falling behind. This is an investment that will take care of itself in so many ways.”

Read full article

In regard to electric, gas, and/or water utility “Smart” Meters, these expensive, hazardous, and privacy invasive devices have already been installed throughout many American communities.  These meters have been plagued with problems (including fires and explosions) since utilities started deploying them (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

Free online documentary Take Back Your Power, provides more deplorable details.  If your utility companies offer “opt out” programs, you may want have these meters replaced with one-way transmitting meters ASAP.  Opposition to “Smart” Meters is worldwide.

Activist Post reports regularly about “Smart” Cities, “Smart” Meters, and other unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

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