Smart cities: are you willing to trade privacy for efficiency?

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Privacy must play an instrumental role in any smart city strategy otherwise citizens might fear the introduction of other innovative technology, according to an executive at one of the world's largest infrastructure companies.

Wim Elfrink, executive vice president of industry solutions and chief globalisation officer of Cisco, heads up the company's smart cities team and warned that if cities did not give citizens the choice of whether or not to allow the government to use their data, they might opt-out of future initiatives.

"Having security policies, having privacy policies is a given. I think you have to first give the citizens the right to opt-in or opt-out," he said.

"Then all these policies, longer term, security and privacy are going to be the biggest imperatives. If we don’t solve this, people will opt-out more."

This is a message that Britain's councils will need to bear in mind as they launch projects with the aim of making the city more efficient by streamlining public services.

The full article by Siraj Datoo on The Guardian